Dealers should be able to show you photos both pre- and post-restoration and should be able to explain the process the piece underwent during that restoration. A lot of “antiques” sold in Singapore are simply modern reproductions of traditional furniture. Make sure they can explain the specifics of that particular piece. Also, dealers should be able to tell you specifically where the piece is from and the material it’s made with, and estimate its age to within 20 years or so. Look underneath pieces like chairs, benches and tables. Typically, there will be little to no restoration performed underneath pieces or inside or behind cabinets, so it will be much easier to see the true age and wear of the timber underneath. This is important especially for pieces that have been refinished on the outside. Look inside pieces for use of modern materials (such as plywood or fibreboard). Oftentimes, new pieces will use recycled or reclaimed timber on the outside, but the inside will use cheaper materials to save cost. If there is plywood on the inside of doors or drawers, it’s a big red flag that it’s not a genuine antique piece. Lastly, if it looks too new, it probably is! Gut instincts are usually right when it comes to these things. What are the pros of buying antiques over say restored pieces, or restored over upcycled? Unrestored antiques have the most original character. The finest original pieces will typically also hold the most resale value on the open market, as they are considered rarer and more desirable. One potential downside is that leaving an original finish can make it slightly more vulnerable to further deterioration if it’s not kept carefully. Restored pieces offer a practical alternative to originals in that the finishes are often more durable, and pieces can be slightly altered to be more practical in a modern home. They offer the look and collectability of an original piece while giving the piece a durable finish that will preserve its look for many decades. Upcycled gives you the best of both worlds – the look of a vintage or antique piece, along with fun and vibrant colours. Can you pass on some top tips to readers viewing antiques?

Upcycled pieces offer customers an original or vintage piece restored with fun splashes of colour

#3 Upcycled furniture A high percentage of pieces we find are extremely deteriorated, in serious disrepair and require significantly more restoration (adding or replacing missing pieces of timber). These become our upcycled furniture pieces.We typically re-paint them in fun, vibrant colours to update their look. This offers clients the best of both worlds, a lovely vintage or antique piece of furniture and a fun splash of colour. We will often keep the new colour looking distressed which allows the piece to maintain its antique feel. What should customers look for when buying antiques? The number one piece of advice we give clients is to buy the piece they can see in their home. Whether it’s a rare 150-year-old altar table, or a mid-century upcycled sideboard, we always tell our clients to choose the piece that speaks to them the most. We will inform them about a particular piece’s rarity, but we never urge them to buy based on this fact.

China Collection 252 Joo Chiat Road 9858 6889 | chinacollection.com.sg

61 OCTOBER2021

Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker