How to Buy Antique Night Stands

February 10, 2020 - Antiques, Art and Collectibles

Antique night stands can transform your room from boring to classy.

Even with minimalistic decor in a room, antique furniture provides visual interest.

Some people fall in love with a piece of furniture only to bring it home and realize it is falling apart.

Don’t let that happen to you. Here are the things you must look for before you buy antique furniture.

Look at the Construction

After measuring to make sure a piece of antique furniture will fit, you need to make sure it is functional.

Antique night stands often have drawers. Pull them out and feel how easily they glide.

Next, look inside at the corners to see how they were made. You want to get a piece that was handmade for maximum longevity.

Dovetails are indicators that a piece was handcrafted. Handmade dovetails almost always indicate a piece made before 1860.

Be on the lookout for kerf marks as well. These are large cut marks where the carpenter used a saw. Again, this is a sign of hand-made furniture.

If you see neither, chances are that antique nightstand is held together with nails and glue. This means that the item was probably made in a factory in the 1900s.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the piece if you love it. But be aware of the age of the item so that you can negotiate a better price. If the seller is claiming it is from the 18th century, you can argue that this is unlikely.

If you have some antique furniture you want to sell, here are 3 reasons to sell to a pawn shop.

Examine the Hardware on Antique Night Stands

Another way to gauge the age of a piece of antique furniture is to look at the inside of a drawer’s handle.

Antique hardware was installed with a nut and post that secured the knob to the front. If you find the top of a screw, that means that the hardware is newer.

Either just the hardware has been replaced, or the item is not as antique as you might have originally thought.

Look for a Label or a Stamp

Check the back and the bottom of all antique furniture for a signature, label or stamp. The stamp or label might also be located on the inside of a drawer.

This will give you a lot of information about how old the item is and where it was made. Factories started stamping or stenciling model numbers on their furniture as early as the late 1800s.

Some carpentry shops burned a number into the furniture. A number could indicate the style, the maker, or even a patent granted to the company. A metal tag is also a giveaway that the piece is handcrafted antique furniture.

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed reading about antique night stands and how to make sure you are buying one that is authentic.

If you have some antique furniture you inherited, consider selling it to a pawn shop. Read these 3 tips to get the most money when you pawn antique furniture.

David Stiebel
David Stiebel

David Stiebel is one of the cofounders of PawnGuru. David was educated at MIT, where he studied Math. He subsequently worked at Bain as a data scientist before starting PawnGuru in 2015. He started PawnGuru to build a better tool for pawn shops and consumers to connect.

More Articles


Comments are now disabled