|There are reasons true antiques are prized by homeowners. True antiques are worth a lot of money. Antique tables add prestige and value to any home. There are few antiques left on the market. When they do appear for sale, it is usually at major auction houses in New York and London. They fetch prices ranging into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This leaves the average homeowner scratching their heads. If most real antiques are off the market, what are all these tables for sale at antique shops? The honest answer is this. They are very good quality, but reproduced copies, of original antique table designs.
Most people refuse to believe tables found at places like the well named, Heirloom Antiques store located just off the local Interstate highway bypass are not authentic antiques. They use as proof the opinion that no one can do work like that anymore. They are incorrect, wrong and about to be defrauded.
With what authority do we make these claims? The reason is simple. Before retirement, I sold thousands of antique reproduction tables to happy buyers from all over the world. We made everyone of the tables ourselves using unbelievably talented artisans in Indonesia.
Many buyers came to the factories located on the island of Java. They asked to see our production of tables for two reasons. They wanted to see production from start to finish. They believed we were taking old Dutch broken antiques and using the parts to produce tables. The second reason was to make sure we could meet the demand they were experiencing.
They did see some production using old broken antique tables. This is always available in previously colonized countries. What they were shocked to see was the production, from start to finish of antique table designs, reproduced the same way they have been for over 200 years. We even had carver artisans, true craftsmen, capable to produce carvings of a quality no one in the western world would even try.
There are several reasons this was possible. When there is a demand, usually someone will find a way to fill that demand. Another reason was to maintain the skills of these amazing native artisans working in Central Java, Indonesia.
We advertised our products as antiques and reproductions. Our buyers rarely told homeowners the truth, unless they the question was asked. To be fair, I believe that if asked, most sellers informed homeowners what they were getting. The catch is, most homeowners never asked.
This is not just something that happens with antique tables. The antique chair market is just the same situation. I can relate one amazing incident. We produced a set of reproduction antique chairs, with matching table. The chairs were based on real antique chairs from Texas in the 1850â€™s and they were magnificent. We sold the set for $800 to our buyer. The chairs were massive, solid mahogany chairs. They were some of the most beautiful chairs I have ever seen.
Our buyer put the chairs on sale at an antiques show in Dallas. He priced them at $6,000 for the set. His sales price sign just said $6,000. While he was at lunch, a customer came and paid $6,000 a piece for each of the two chairs. They paid cash and never looked back or thought to ask any questions. I assume they felt as stunned by the beauty of the chairs as we did.
To protect yourself, all you need to do is ask the question about any antique you are considering buying. Make sure you know what you are buying. Then if, like the chair buyer, you found something stunning and like the price, be happy with your purchase.
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