Buying an Antique Desk, Writing Table or Library Table

Here are a few pointers to consider when looking for an antique desk or library or writing table. It is not by any means a comprehensive list but it may help get you started if you are unfamiliar with buying antique desks.

Originality and Authenticity: 

The reproduction furniture market is as popular as ever offering new or recently made or vintage reproduction antique furniture. These pieces can still command a high price for the workmanship involved however they will not hold their value over the longer term.
If you are reading this we assume you are looking for a genuine antique piece of furniture and looking for some advice.

Choose a Reputable Antique Dealer

If you are looking for a genuine antique piece of furniture it is wise to choose a reputable antique dealer. Look for a business that has the backing of a professional association such as LAPADA which regulates the dealers and offers customers security against miss-selling.

This will ensure that they operate by a strict code of conduct, you have recourse to complain if necessary and any purchase is covered by their insurance. 

In the current climate we are more concerned about the environment, and appreciate again good quality furniture that will last and last for generations. Throw-away items that choke up our landfil sites is good for no one. We may not always wish to keep our antique furniture forever but we will have the opportunity to pass it on to our relatives or sell it on and invest in something else. 

As an investment, it can make good sense to enjoy the financialo investments we have in a tangible form rather than leaving it in poorly performing accounts. Good quality antique furniture will always sell even if some styles go out of fashion at times. Although brown furniture did see a slump in popularity in England it has remained popular in Italy, USA and Canada as well as many European countries. And we are pleased to see that in the UK is now seeing a resurgence again. We trust that the general buying public continues to value the beauty, quality and expert workmanship that antique furniture has to offer. 
Antique French Desk Security Drawer

Antique Campaign Desk

Look at the Drawers:

A good indicator of quality are the drawer linings, those made in oak, mahogany and cedar are generally best.
Also most antique cabinet work has been crafted by hand and the drawers have small fine dovetailed joints.

If you see thick wide dovetails this suggests they have been machine made.
Look at the locks and furniture stamps:
If the piece has the original locks, and especially if they are stamped with the manufacturers name this is also an indicator of good quality.

N.B. Most old desks have been restored at least once during their life and this is not going to detract from the authenticity of the piece.
Check that it has been restored sympathetically not overdone and undertaken in a traditional manner with a
French polished or waxed finish, not polyurethane varnish! 
Find us at: Studio House, 143 Chester Road South, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 1XB - Near Junction 5 of M5 and junction 1 of M42