Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Antique Buffet
Hi, I'm looking to buy this awesome buffet that the seller claims is 100 years old. The condition is pretty good if that's the actual age, however, I know age doesn't necessarily make it more expensive. What kind of things can I look for to determine what it might actually be worth?
Nice to hear from you.
Lets face it, a piece of furniture that has lasted 100 years must be pretty well made.
So we can safely say this piece is well made. But certainly some furniture is better made than others.
I like to determine if the top of the piece and drawer fronts are solid wood or veneer.
There is certainly nothing wrong with veneer but solid wood tops and drawer fronts are better suited to todays lifestyles and busy families. If your piece is veneer, check carefully to ensure it has not chipped or have missing pieces.
Next I look at the drawer construction. I like to see dovetail or Knapp joined drawers.
And if I see handcut dovetails (which are very easy to distinguish from factory made ones),that increases the value.
Next, I remove a drawer or two to check the condition of the drawer guides.
A really well used piece will more than likely need these guides replaced. Badly worn guides can cause the drawer to fit wrong which leads to the drawers pulling apart or the bottoms coming loose.
While you have the drawers out, look at the inside drawer front. If the original handles have ever been replaced we often see that someone drilled new holes for the new handles. I hate seeing this.
Next stand back from the piece for a good look. Does it sit square? Do the horizontal frame pieces under the drawers sag?
Check to see if all turnings are intact. These often break and the pieces are lost.
Next check the doors. Open one fully..was it hard to open? does it sag?
I hope I have answered your question Freya.
Please get back if need be.