Identifying Antique Furniture Marks

Written by corrie agnew
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Many people enjoy looking at antiques, but few are able to tell anything about the items they are looking at. Learning to identify the various furniture marks by furniture companies throughout the ages can be rewarding and enjoyable for antique enthusiasts. With time, patience, and dedication, anyone can become an expert in this field.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Flash cards
  • Pencil or photocopier
  • Antique furniture books
  • Antique furniture stores

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  1. 1

    Research the different styles of furniture that were popular in centuries past. It is important for individuals who are serious about antiques to be familiar with the styles and the periods in which they were made. The Internet can be a great resource for studying antique furniture, but books are best because they can be read and referenced over and over again. Utilise the antique book collection at your local library if you cannot afford to purchase several books at once.

  2. 2

    Learn the names of the furniture companies that operated during the various periods. Becoming familiar with the company names and the trademark styles they produced are a must before learning their individual marks.

  3. 3

    Make flash cards with the different marks on them. These marks can either be drawn by hand or photocopied and pasted to the cards. On the opposite side of the card, write down the corresponding company name. Study these flashcards until the marks have been memorised. When combined with the basic knowledge of the different companies and furniture styles, memorisation of these marks should come fairly easily.

  4. 4

    Visit antique stores and museums to test your knowledge. Seeing the actual pieces and marks will help to permanently imprint them in your mind. Getting a lot of field practice is vital to developing an expertise in antique furniture.

  5. 5

    Subscribe to trade magazines to ensure that you are constantly learning and refreshing your memory. Because of the broadness of this field, you will never run out of new things to learn.

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