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What to Know About Antique Furniture?

Are you interested in buying antique furniture? What exactly are you looking for and from what period/country? These are just some of questions you should be prepared to answer when you walk into a store selling antique furnishings. These are not tests or trick questions, the sales person simply wants to identify specific type of furniture you want. You see, there are various eras and styles of furniture labelled antique. The term antique doesn’t just mean anything old; you need to identify the style which is determined by the era and the country of originas well. As complex as it may sound, it’s quite simple and today we will be giving you information that you ought to know before you can walk into any store sell second hand furniture.


We begin with English style antique which is quite popular. The oldest furniture known to be on sale is from the 16th century and this type of furniture is referred to as the Elizabethan era furniture. Much of this English furniture was made using oak wood which made it very heavy and durable. The furniture was quite simple and had delicate engravings which gave it an ornamental twist. The most widely available English furniture is from the 18th and 19th century. Different styles came about during this era with teak, walnut, cherry, mahogany and English oak becoming widely used. It’s very easy to identify English antique pieces and this is because they are made using highly elaborate wood. They come with carvings, gildings and are highly varnished as well. The furniture is graceful, bold and blends with various styles thanks to the English carving techniques.

European antique style is largely elegant and cosy. These designs are romantic and classic. Classical furniture is more symmetrical and gives your home a respectable and grand look while romantic styles are more joyful. They provide a more relaxing feel and look. The one thing you will identify in European antique furnishings is heir flat designs. This is because the furniture was largely made for sitting, sleeping and storage. That said; the Europeans loved arts and crafts and you will notice this in their furniture designs. Though the furniture is rather flat, it’s also quite ornamental with intricate flower patterns.

France is another country whose furniture can be found in antique stores. Different styles influenced England and Europe but France had a distinct style. It’s not difficult to identify second hand furniture from the country. French designs are largely bold. They are large in size and can be referred to as crude as they reflect gothic styles especially furniture from the 13th and 15th centuries. However, these designs became more graceful over the years. Thanks to the artistic French culture, artisans turned plain furniture into artistic pieces. French antiques feature large ornamental carvings and these are mostly influenced by Roman art. The French brought about regency furniture style which features classical motifs and comes polished in gilt bronze and precious wood veneer. If you are looking for art nouveau type of furniture, you are most certainly looking at French antiques.

Different eras had their antique styles and these differed starkly according to the country of origin.

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