Category: Acquisitions

Are You Looking At a Fake? How to Differentiate Authentic Antiques from Forgeries

The appreciation for antiques is something that has not waned through the years. If anything, more and more people are aiming to get their hands of authentic antique pieces. As you can expect when anything is in demand, there will be unscrupulous people aiming to get a quick buck off of unsuspecting clients. In the recent 50 years, more and more people are putting out ‘refinished’ or ‘replicated’ antiques out into the market. No one wants that.


What is an authentic antique?

In the truest sense of the word, an antique is anything that’s over one hundred years old. The trouble with the market nowadays is that ‘antique’ is often synonymous or interchangeable with ‘vintage’. Anything vintage refers to anything that’s at least over ten years since it was first manufactured or made.

It is important to know the difference between the two before you start looking for authentic antiques. In the interest of helping you keep a learned eye out for acquisitions, let’s discuss some of the ways you can differentiate authentic from fake ones.

Fake antiques often possess these characteristics:

The weight is too light

Authentic antiques are rather hefty. If you’re looking to acquire anything that’s over a hundred years old, you should expect the materials to be clunky. So if you ever lift anything that’s marked as ‘authentic’ and you can lift it without any trouble, chances are, you’re dealing with a replica.

The price is dubious

Good antiques are usually sold at a high price. If something is too high, best be wary. If the price is too low, there’s a high probability that you’re dealing with a replica.

How do you check for authentic antiques?

Tap Method

You can use a coin or any small piece of metal to help you with this. Gently but consistently tap down the length of the antique. If you hear any dull clunking sounds, chances are the area has been repaired. In which case, you’re dealing with a restored or refurnished piece rather than an authentic antique.

Scent Check

Most replicas cannot replicate the smell of something old. So don’t be shy about sniffing the piece you’re looking at. Solvents or paint usually have a scent to it that lingers for months on end. This is hard to get rid of. So use your nose to sniff out fakes.

If you think this is too much work…

Call us or browse our store.