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What Should I Consider When Buying an Antique Hutch?

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  • Written By: J. Beam
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 22 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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An antique hutch, china cabinet, or buffet makes a terrific addition to the decor of many different styles of rooms. Whether your room is eclectic, country, or traditional style, blending old furniture with new can provide the room with added style and richness. Plus, antique pieces for kitchens and dining rooms can provide not only unique style, but unique benefits to storage solutions as well.

When looking for an antique hutch, china cabinet or similar piece, be aware of details that may indicate the piece’s age and worth. For example, pineapple finials often found on the legs and posts of older furniture can indicate that a piece is old, but maybe not be as old as you think as this was a popular detail in even as recently as the 1930s. Scrollwork and joints in the drawers are also details that can help you determine a history of the piece.

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In many cases, determining when and where a piece was made is only relative to the price of the piece. If you are buying an antique hutch from a thrift store or estate sale, one of two things can happen. First, no one has any idea of the value of the piece and so it is priced at face value or secondly, someone with experience in antiques has recognized a piece’s value and has set the price to reflect it. Antique stores are better equipped to judge value than most thrift stores and individuals. If you are experienced with antiques, you should have a good idea if your are getting a deal or not.

Avoid overpaying for an item just because someone assumes it’s worth a lot because of its age. On average, expect to pay in the ballpark of $150 US Dollars (USD) to $200 USD for a decent, but unremarkable antique hutch or china cabinet. The price and value will go up from there, depending largely on what details are known – such as age, manufacturer or maker, and condition. Some pieces, especially finer woods and handmade pieces can sell for well over $1000 USD.

If you are unconcerned with the piece’s overall value and are buying an antique hutch or china cabinet for its practicality, there are still several things to take into consideration before making a purchase. Make sure you have adequately measured your space for use and the piece itself before bringing it home. Also, consider what functions you want your piece to serve. For instance, do you want the hutch or cabinet to display dishes or simply store them behind closed doors?

Once you have decided if you are looking for a piece for personal reasons or as a collectors item and have determined what functions you want the piece to serve, you will be better prepared to begin scouring thrift shops, estate sales, antique markets, and flea markets for the perfect find. Many people enjoy the hunt for a quality made piece of furniture at a good price, and there are plenty of them to be found. Just be sure you know what you are paying for.

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