Antique furniture has increased in popularity over recent years. Its popularity comes from the timeless look it creates and the fact that it can look effective alongside various different styles of interior design. Whilst antique furniture used to be associated only with upper class properties its popularity has spread further as more antique shops have popped up combined with the increase of antique programs on the television. One thing which has also become more common is the production of replica antiques. Now many people will be happy to purchase them but others are specifically looking for genuine pieces only. If this is the case how can you tell the difference? Some traders will be knowingly attempting to fool people into thinking replicas are the real deal. Here are a few common things to look out for and help you tell the difference.




Perfect Symmetry

Genuine antiques will often have imperfections and have marks or slight variations in their uniformity. In contrast a lot of replica pieces will be perfectly symmetrical or too smooth and well-shaped. If something looks too good to be true given its alleged age there is a possibility that it is not a genuine antique.

Handmade or Machined

Traditionally all carvings and decorative work on antiques would be done by hand. As before this will lead to slight imperfections and small variations between similar pieces or even across the individual design itself. As before, these minor differences will be a clear indication that they were handmade and therefore highly likely to be actual antiques.


A lot of real antique furniture will be constructed from a variety of different types of wood or metals etc. This is due to the fact that traditionally the sourcing of the materials from which they were made from would be more difficult and so different types of wood would often be used on the same pieces. These might vary across matching items such as a set of chairs. Variety is a good sign if you are looking for vintage items. If the ‘antique’ is all made from the same types of wood this should set off a warning sign that it is potentially replicated. Another thing to consider when it comes to the materials it is constructed from is the likelihood of it being modern or not. Synthetic materials will clearly be used in replica furniture as it simply didn’t exist until more recent years.



Antiques should be fitted with joints and interlocking pieces with minimal or no glue. If a piece of furniture looks like it has been extensively constructed through gluing or a similar type of adhesive then it is sure to be a new replica item rather than an older item.


Actual antiques will regularly have a tell-tale smell to them. This simply occurs due to their age. This shouldn’t be off putting but rather a way to identify the old from the new. In fact this mustiness can be removed if you so desire. If the pieces smell too new or have no scent at all the chances are that it is replica antique furniture.