When shopping for antiques, you want to look at the patina of the furniture. Just like an old tshirt, wood softens as it ages. Wooden furniture gets better with time and use. Patina is the result of cleaning, dusting, waxing, polishing, sunlight and dings and scratches which happen during the normal course of life. Wood softens over time and sharp edges round out. After one hundred years. all exterior edges should be soft to touch. Old pieces that have been well cared for seem to glow and darken in color.
Patina is the number one attribute used to authenticate an antique. Patina cannot be faked, reproduced or replicated. Patina is the evidence of an antique’s history. Stripping a piece of furniture destroys its patina and the only way to restore patina is the passing of time. That is the reason why refinishing antiques is not a good idea. When the patina is lost, the value of the piece can one tenth of what the value had been if it had its original patina.
Do any of you collect antiques? What is the number one thing you look for in an antique?