The Real Value Of An Antique Furniture Appraisal

In 2004, Christie’s London set an auction record by selling the Badminton Cabinet for $36.7 million. Why was it so valuable? The highly prized Florentine piece was made for the Duke of Beaufort, Henry Somerset, in 1726. During the antique furniture appraisal and sale, it was its architectural design and elegance that set it apart from other antique furniture made at the time.

How Do I Know If My Antique Furniture Is Valuable?

The only way to tell if your furniture is valuable is by having an antique furniture appraisal done by a reputable company. Especially if you lack knowledge of period-specific furniture designs, it is best to tap into the expertise market so that you receive the greatest value for your antique furniture.

Tips From Antique Furniture Appraisal Experts

While you might not ever come across your own Badminton Cabinet, you likely have dated furniture pieces in your home that you want to know their value for insurance purposes, for a sale, or your business knowledge. So, here are a few things we advise our customers about furniture.

  • Queen Anne reigned from 1702 to 1714, but this furniture style was made from her birth in 1665 until the mid-18th Furniture from this period was usually made with oak, cherry, mahogany, or maple and displayed cabriole arms and legs.
  • Georgian furniture was made in the late 1700s to about 1830. Most pieces were made of mahogany wood and elegant fabrics. Architectural designs tended to be bolder as they embellished the Queen Anne design, sophistication, and artistry.

By the end of the century, Georgian furniture had a Grecian style with simplified lines and carvings. After the turn of the century, Georgian furniture was also made of satinwood and had intricate designs, extended limbs, and denser surface areas.

  • Regency furniture was made in the early 1800s from mahogany wood but was cleaner made for household purposes and had bolder craftsmanship. The design was also tastefully made to be much smaller and more vibrant than Georgian furniture.
  • Victorian furniture was made in the late 1800s of walnut, mahogany, and rosewood. Because of its durability, pieces were larger and heavier. The stylistic design usually had outwardly curved lines, marble, adornments, and darker finishes.
  • Early colonial furniture was made from the 1600s to the 1700s from walnut, pine, maple, and birch. As pieces were homemade, they were constructed from available woods and tools, which created a simpler look and feel. Furniture makers also tried to rebuild old-world trends, which created heavier pieces with straighter silhouettes.
  • Late colonial furniture was made in the 1700s of mahogany and pine and took on a more ornate construction and design than earlier colonial furniture as the makers ceremoniously recreated luxurious pieces akin to Queen Anne and Georgian-eras.
  • Federal furniture was made in the early 1800s of cherry and mahogany. Its elegant craftsmanship had a neoclassical look but also showed hints of European influence with its straight, tapered lines, refined decorations, and distinct textile patterns.
  • Pennsylvania Dutch furniture was made from the late 1800s to about 1850. Craftsmanship usually included walnut, maple, pine, and applewood. Designs tended to be function-friendly yet had straight lines and vibrant design patterns.
  • Shaker furniture was made from the late 1700s to the mid-1800s for minimalistic consumers and usually from maple, rosewood, pine, and cherry. Shaker furniture´s craftsmanship was considered superior as tables and chairs had extended limbs while cabinets, drawers, and cupboards had delicate curves and rounded handles.
  • Sheraton furniture was made from mahogany, sycamore, satinwood, rosewood, and tulipwood. It was made from the late 1700s to about 1820. Its design followed a neoclassical shape that had geometric inlaid silhouettes, higher structural bodies, and Romanesque legs. The overall look was elegant yet simplistic in appearance.
  • American Empire furniture was made between 1800 and 1840 and reinvented Roman and Greek styles. Pieces were usually made of mahogany and walnut to give the furniture a darker appearance yet used embellishments to signify wealth.
  • Art Nouveau furniture was made from exotic wood between 1890 and 1910. During this period, furniture began to take on a more modern look and feel, often compared to the start of interior design since the pieces displayed feminine shapes and curves.

If you would like to learn more about the era of your antique furniture, give us a call at 617-948-2577 or ask us about an appraisal on Facebook at