What is antique furniture?
Antique furniture is a collectible piece crafted at least 100 years ago. It reflects the style and features of the time it was made. Certain unique features such as the age, utility, rarity, and condition make a piece of furniture desirable as a collectors’ item, and thus termed antique.
Furniture hailing from that era is eco-friendly due to the use of natural resources and its reusability helps in holding carbon from hundreds of years ago contributing to forest harvesting. Old furniture, solid wood flooring, and sometimes wood ceilings from the homes, and other structures are sustainable sources of timber to make furniture. The architectural elements from these homes are sometimes used as décor pieces by interior designers like this teak wood door from our collection. Antiques are not just old furniture, but time capsules passing on stories of humanity and history through the hands of talented artisans.
It was in 17th century that furniture gained status to be considered a pinnacle of luxury with royals and aristocrats putting out their expenses unhinged on interior decoration. However, in 18th century furniture styles, simple designs transitioned from elaborate ornamentations which showcased asymmetrical elements representing the natural world were in vogue. While furniture-makers were trained in the construction of highly finished, sophisticated designs, styles during this time were widely divergent.
In 19th century, saw the creation of some of the most exquisite furniture styles of all time. The makers were able to explore a multitude of new materials and varied inspiration resulting in the use of solid wood like mahogany, ebony,teak wood, and mango wood
As we advanced into industrialization, furniture made out of artificial materials was now available with lower cost and plain craftsmanship. Thus came the practice of collecting and acquiring precious works of old furniture and passing it through generations. These antique pieces, which contrast greatly with modern creations are now celebrated as an art form.
What makes antique furniture so premium?
Compared to contemporary piece of furniture that loses two-thirds of its value at the time of purchase, an antique furniture that resisted wear and tears throughout time has its value increasing over time. The price and value of a piece of antique furniture are based on these 6 factors:
- Materials used
- General aesthetic
To estimate the price of your furniture, it is important to note the style and how in-demand it is. The style of an antique piece is different from the period it was created. Hence, any furniture representing a style from a previous era will cost a lot lesser than the one made at the same time with a style signifying that very period of time.
The demand could be due to the rarity of the items, such as popular antique furniture showcasing deco styles by Durand, Printz and Ruhlman are impossible to find and are priced extremely high.
Age plays a crucial role in pricing. The term antique is used to describe pieces that are over 100 years old. They tell a story, they have a personality, and they have a place in the world. Over time, its value can double every 5 years, an average increase of 20% per year. Moreover, a piece of furniture made manually by a craftsman or which does not come from assembly line cost way more than machine-made ones. Furniture made out of sturdy wood is highly valued as it is durable and can be passed down from generation to generation. A perfect example is our coffee table crafted using a naturally aged wood repurposed from an interior door of a mansion in India.
Types of antique furniture
Furniture has been a mark of wealth and luxury for centuries. The era of furniture boasting unique styles, reflected a particular time that started out from 17th century when the Jacobean style was born out of the English Early Renaissance. William and Mary style furniture was popular in the late 17th and early 18th century and it shows Dutch and Chinese influences which was followed by Queen Anne style furniture. The Gregorian furniture used mahogany and satinwood. Regency style of furniture is the English version of French Empire style Regency furniture. Then came the Queen Victoria style during the period 1840-1910 and was the first style to be manufactured.
Simultaneously in the US, emerged the Early Colonial style in the 17th century and then the Late Colonial in the 18th that showed a blend of Queen Anne and Georgian styles. The Federal Style showed up in the early 19th century and was inspired by English furniture styles. The Pennsylvania Dutch saw eminence in the late 17th century till mid-19th and was characterized by solid yet plain style and colourful painted decorations. In the late 18th century, the Shaker Style was popular till the middle of 19th century.
Keeping all of the styles in mind, Far Pavilions helps create a look of a home that’s collected over time. Through our travels, we have collected numerous architectural elements and have repurposed them into furniture pieces to complement modern day living. For example, we have designed and crafted this headboard from an antique door and hand-carved columns which would complement any antique bedroom furniture.This rustic dining table would add character toany dining area, along with accessories like a vintage bowl or a wooden tray. This rustic chest from the yesteryears will bring in the old-world charm to your living room or entryway. All of these eclectic pieces have been handcrafted from elements belonging to the 1800s and 1900s.
How to identify authentic antique furniture
Genuine antique furniture is highly-priced and extremely valuable. Hence, it is common practice to copy the style of old ones. One must be observant of the features to not get duped. Features such as irregularities in the woodcuts, the wear and tears on the timber are indicators of originality, as machine-cut furniture wasn’t made until the 1860s. No handcrafted furniture has uniform rings, slats, and diameter components because they are not perfectly cut unlike the precision of a machine-cut product. However, furniture pieces made by repurposing original materials such as old doors, windows, columns are available at Far Pavilions. A good example is this handmade wooden console where an antique arch from a patio has been upcycled as the front face of the console. Here, the solid wood itself, along with the finish and workmanship on the table are indicators of ingenuity and high quality.
Why you should buy antique furniture...
Aside from being one-of-a-kind, antique furniture crafted from sustainably sourced wood is environmentally friendly and resonates with the conscience of the buyers. Natural finishes with zero toxins are used on these while they also tend to be more affordable than a lot of new furniture. Antique furniture creates a wonderful picture of the period from which it was made, reflecting social history and stories of domestic lives,preserving heritage in the form of historical furniture for future generations. Also, furniture like this bookcase and this carved side chair are repurposed from sustainable antique sources which are reusable and existed for more than hundreds of years resulting in extremely low wastage. Hence no trees have been cut down to make these products. In addition to that, this elegant bar unit from our assemblage is put together with historical elements like spindles, corbels, salvaged metal grills that are unique and exhibit one-of-a-kind décor which is hard to replicate.
What is the difference between “Vintage,” “Antique,” and “Retro”?
Furniture affixed into categories of antique, vintage, and retro is based on when they were made. Although they seem to be complementing each other, these are very distinguished in accordance with the time period and what they represent. A piece or set is considered to be antique furniture when it is over 100 years old. Like great art, these furniture pieces are an investment and when mixed with other styles, can give fantastic depth, and centuries old taste and style to your home design. Vintage furniture is at least 20 years or older and should speak of the era in which it is created. Retro furniture pieces are those pieces of furniture that are not old but of recent past. Like a trend or fashion which was once a part of many households but are passed on for newer ones.