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How do I Become a Furniture Appraiser?

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  • Written By: Patrick Roland
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
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Television programs such as "Antiques Roadshow" have helped popularize the world of furniture appraisal. One of the primary jobs of a furniture appraiser is estimating the value, age and producer of furniture pieces. If you want to become a furniture appraiser, you will need to dedicate years of your life to education and field research. Fortunately, there are a number of schools and real-world opportunities that can help you build your database of knowledge and become an appraiser.

To become a furniture appraiser, you must have a sharp set of eyes and a talent for research. No matter if you are looking at an antique desk, an antique table or a department store knockoff, you need to be able to evaluate the work and know how much it is worth and where it came from. This requires an encyclopedic knowledge of furniture styles, materials and markings.

Based on your findings, you also will need to give an estimated value for a piece of furniture. This means that you must not only understand the furniture's history but also what the current market demand is for a piece. Many items gain in value over years, and some fluctuate wildly, so if you become a furniture appraiser, you must stay current on trends and prices in order to give sound estimates.

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Gaining these skills is not a process that happens overnight or even over the course of years. Education never stops if you want to become a furniture appraiser. There are rarely educational requirements for the job, but many appraisers study fine arts or art history in college. This coursework teaches students about artistic values in various works and how to research art history. These skills are used by furniture appraisers on a daily basis.

Schooling alone is not enough, and some appraisers skip the classroom altogether. No matter how you start your path to become a furniture appraiser, you first will need to evaluate thousands of pieces of furniture in order to gain the understanding and confidence to call yourself an appraiser. If you want to further your understanding, you should find an apprentice position at an antique store or an antique furniture gallery. These places will have expert appraisers from whom you can learn.

After inspecting countless chairs, desks, couches and more, you will be able to accurately appraise furniture. The research and artistic skills necessary will not come easy but will give you an amazing understanding of history as seen through furniture. With ongoing study and a passion for this art, you will be able to appraise any item.

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