Reproductions are everywhere in the world of antiques, and not being able to spot one could cost you dearly, as reproductions are made to look like the real thing. One item that is commonly selected for a good copy is the antique mirror, and with that in mind, here are some tips on how to spot an antique mirror that is not genuine.
Look for Signs of Genuine Age
Timber expands and moves over time, especially when exposed to different atmospheres, and this means points of joining will seem uneven, and any perfect joints would demand further investigation. There is an excellent blog about how to determine the value of an old mirror, which might prove helpful.
This is something that is very difficult to fake, as time has a way of breaking down colour pigments that cannot easily be duplicated, so expect to see some fading and discolouration when buying an antique mirror.
Online Antique Dealers
The best way to minimise the risk of buying a reproduction is to acquire the items from a reputable online antique dealer, who has genuine antique wall mirrors for sale at affordable prices. Not only can you be sure that the items are real, but they also have a wide range of items, far more than the traditional store.
This is a sure sign of reproduction, and they did not have modern machinery when real antiques were made, so there will be an element of difference between both sides, as they were handcrafted, rather than machined. Reproductions are typically manufactured, with some hand finishing to try and make the piece look old, but, of course, the symmetry will still be there.
Check the Construction
Staples and glue are sure signs of a replica, and other things to look for are rounded corners, modern screws and new wood odour, which is often a giveaway that cannot be masked. Don’t be afraid to carefully examine any piece, as this is what an expert would do, and should you discover anything untoward, politely decline the sale.
The best way to be sure an antique item is genuine is to have an antique expert take a look, and that can easily be arranged with an online search. Far better to pay a small fee to a dealer than spend a lot of money for something that is worth very little; in fact, many novices do precisely that. Anything you are unsure about, call in an expert, who can make a professional evaluation on your behalf, which will give you peace of mind. Some antique mirrors are very highly priced, especially from the French Louis XVI era, and unless you are sure the piece is original, ask a dealer to cast his experienced eye over it before making any decisions.
Despite the skills of the furniture reproducer, there are always tell-tale signs, if you know where to look, and hopefully, this article will help you to make the right acquisitions.