Learning how to spot a fake or reproduction for a real antique is a skill that takes practice to make perfect. There are some telltale signs that give reproductions away, but often times it isn’t that easy to spot a reproduction antique.
Knowledge is king when it comes to spotting real from reproduction. There are guides out there for almost every subject matter that people collect. If you educate yourself and learn what signs are used to determine if what you are looking at is actually an antique, then you’ll be ahead of the curve.
Looking at furniture, there are many signs and clues on a given piece as to whether it is genuine or not. From the type of nails used to the materials, every part has a rhyme and reason. Is the hardware too perfect? It’s probably a reproduction. Early American furniture hardware was either handmade or poured into molds, causing each handle or drawer pull to come out with slight variations. You can also look at the joint construction. If a joint is nothing more than wood, glue and some staples, you are definitely looking at a reproduction.
If you are looking at an old vinyl toy from the 1950s or 60s, expect to find some discoloration and even paint wear. When looking at glassware, expect to find some scratches on the base. Jewelry? Expect to find some small scratches and discoloration. Generally, if an item looks to good to be true, it probably is.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from being duped into buying a fake is to get the antique in question appraised. Appraisers are trained to know what to look for and know the construction or manufacturing methods used to make items. Even if you are educated about what you like to collect, it never hurts to seek a professional appraiser’s opinion.
Looking to buy or sell an antique? Let us help you. We have a network of knowledgeable and specialized appraisers ready to help you find out the value or your item. Find an appraiser today and get started finding out the true value of your antiques.