Identify an Antique China Cabinet: 3 Easy Tips

February 29, 2020 - Antiques, Art and Collectibles

Some people seem to have a knack for finding antique treasures. 

But you don’t have to look too far when you need to sell items that can bring in extra cash.

There might be treasures in your home that could fetch you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. One of those hidden gems – family heirlooms such as antique china cabinets.

But how do you know if what you have in storage is authentic? Here are 3 tips to help you distinguish a real antique china cabinet from an imitation.

1. Be Resourceful

First, there are different standards for what people consider as antique. Of course, it has to be old. But fine antique dealers may not consider something that’s only 50 years old to be an antique.

The surest way is to consult an expert. An antique appraiser will know how to spot a fake even if it looks like old china cabinets from reference books.

Worried about the fees for appraisal? There are other means to get a professional’s opinion. You can post on forums or you can approach appraisers at antique shows.

If you’re having trouble getting professional help, try free antique appraisals online.

2. Know What to Look For

Do you want to save a trip to a pawnshop? Look for telltale signs like the finish of your vintage china cabinet. Antique china cabinets have this unique finish or patina.

And it’s a finish only antiques own because it’s related to decades of usage. Even for painted antique cabinets, this finish will be evident.

Certain areas will show some dulled colors. This is because these surfaces had plenty of contact with hands or fingers over the years.

Another way to check is to look for a screw. An antique china cabinet will for obvious reasons show wear and tear. If the screw looks shiny, there’s a high chance it’s not an antique.

3. Research Is Your Friend

Does your antique cabinet have a paper label or a signature? If yes, you’re in luck. This will help you find the craftsman or manufacturer who made your piece.

But if there’s no label or signature, don’t worry. It’s not a sign you should stop checking if your china cabinet is antique. Try to research about different furniture styles from different periods.

When it comes to antiques, the one thing you have to remember is knowledge is power. Aside from exhausting online resources, try to score antique guide books. It might even spur you to deal with antiques more and more.

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.

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