What to Look for When Buying Antique Tables

January 19, 2020 - Antiques, Art and Collectibles

Searching for beautiful antique tables is like a treasure hunt.

Are you looking to discover the perfect small antique table for your living room? Or maybe you’re searching for particular antique table styles?

But how can you tell the difference between the junk that someone’s thrown away, and a genuine valuable antique table?

]Keep reading to find out the tips and clues for searching for the best antique tables on the market.

1. What’s the Finish Like?

It’s important to inspect the finish of the table. Check to see whether the table has its original finish. Maybe it’s been recently repolished, can you tell?

It really makes a difference whether the table has a plastic refurbished finish or the original craftsmanship.

2. Check Underneath

Many non-experts forget to look underneath the piece. But it’s essential that you examine the back, the corners, and each nook and cranny.

Are there any loose joints on the table? Does the table wobble when you place pressure on it?

While you can always have the table restored if there’s anything faulty, it’s important to keep in mind the additional costs of restoration.

3. Does Everything Work Smoothly?

If the table has a drawer or handles anywhere, it’s essential to make sure they work smoothly.

If the drawers don’t slide back and forth, there might be a damaged runner.

4. What About Woodworm

Woodworm can wreak havoc on your antique furniture. You need to look out for signs of woodworm in tables.

Are there holes in the table? If dust blows out of the hole when you tap it, this could suggest that the worm is still alive.

If woodworm is detected, you can treat it. But it’s good to know what you’re getting into before buying the table.

5. Has Anything Been Replaced?

Have the feet or handles been replaced by newer versions? Has a new top been put on the antique base of the table? Signs include inconsistent materials or colors.

Before you buy the antique table, it’s good to know whether everything is the original or not. The adding of newer parts to older parts is called ‘marriage’ in antiques.

If the replacement is in keeping with the style of the piece, this might be acceptable to you. But be aware this affects the price of the table.

6. Remember the Buyer’s Premium

Are you searching for antique tables at an auction?

Don’t forget that the buyer’s premium can include up to 27 percent of the original bid you make. Be careful not to go over your budget.

7. Have Faith in Your Instinct

Your instinct is really important in antique buying. Does the piece suit your taste? Is the price right?

Sometimes you just get an overwhelming feeling that you really must have that antique table.

More About Antique Tables

Now you know what to look out for when buying antique tables. You can search for top-notch pieces with the eye of an expert.

Would you like to find out more about buying and selling antiques? Check out our blog on antiques.

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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