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Sofas are the centerpiece of your living room décor. It is the focal point with which all the other elements are based on. It also serves as the anchor for the seating arrangement. Thus, the importance of sofas for furniture buyers is evident and some people would be willing to pay a lot of money for a good quality sofa.
In this same reason, vintage and antique sofas are highly coveted pieces. The rarity of the piece and the unique style combine to making it highly sought after. Depending on how old the sofa is, the styles and prices could vary significantly. Use this guide to learn more about the different factors that command the value of an antique sofa.

How to date a sofa?

Dating an antique sofa is an important step in determining its value. It is also one way to ensure that you have an authentic antique piece and not a reproduction. There are numerous factors that determine the age of an antique sofa. If you can find these indicators, you will be able to utilize it for appraisal purposes and will give the owners confidence about the value of the item, too.
The presence of tags or markings on the sofa is the first thing you need to look for. This marking is present on any part of the furniture, mostly on the bottom. It can even be on the fabric of the sofa! Once you identify the manufacturer of the sofa, you will be able to identify the exact date range of its manufacture.
A serial number is also a good way to date an antique sofa. Mass-produced or not, antique sofas will have a serial number. Just like the markings, the serial number will enable you to accurately date the furniture. Or, if you are knowledgeable about the various styles of sofa, you can look at the style in your vintage piece. Different styles originate from different periods. Therefore, the type of antique sofa that you have can be an indicator of when it was made.

How to differentiate genuine antique from reproduction?

In addition to the factors listed above, the authenticity of the antique sofa is one single factor that could heavily influence its appraisal. You must look into the item to see if it is authentic or a reproduction. But how do you do that?
There are many modern sofas that are manufactured using a vintage style. Hence, you cannot assume that a particular style of sofa will be antique or old because of how it looks. It is important to determine exactly when the sofa was manufactured. One way to do it is to look for signs of age on the sofa itself. While it might still be in good condition, it will show signs of aging when examined closely. Look for nicks, dings, or even worm holes.
For wooden sofas, or those with wooden parts, check for signs of aging on the wood. Even the small gives out a major clue on how old the furniture piece is. Another important thing to note is the finish of the furniture. Even if the furniture is authentic, its value can drop when it has been re-finished.

What is the worth of antique sofa?

There are numerous factors that affect the overall value of an antique sofa. In the succeeding sections, you will learn more about the various factors that affect its overall value:

  • Material
  • Manufacturer or Maker
  • Rarity
  • Overall Condition
  • Style

What is the material?

The material of the antique sofa is directly correlated to its quality, longevity, aesthetic, and comfort. Hence, it is a factor that is considered during appraisal. The cover material is the first thing that potential buyers see about an antique sofa. Therefore, it only makes sense to consider it first during the valuation of the antique item. The common materials used for antique sofa covers are as follows:

  • Leather
  • Velvet
  • Crushed Velvet
  • Silk
  • Wool
  • Cotton
  • Chenille

Of these cover materials on antique sofa, leather is the most durable. It also improves with age. If you want a luxurious look, velvet is a great choice. Aside from the cover, the filling material on a sofa is also critical during appraisal as it helps to determine comfort.

What are the antique sofa styles?

If you own a vintage sofa, you need to determine its sofa style as it can be one of the first things that an appraiser looks into. If you think all sofas are the same, think again. There are actually plenty of options available. These different styles appeal to different buyers and some would be more willing to pay a higher price for rare styles. You can learn more about each sofa style here:

  • Tuxedo Sofa – This is one of the most luxurious styles of vintage sofas around. It originated in the 1920s and features a boxy silhouette and panel-like arms. The arms are as high as the back of the sofa. Another hallmark of the tuxedo sofa is the tufting detail on the back rest. It is best suited for formal living rooms.
  • Camelback Sofa – This type of vintage sofa is characterized by its traditional yet subtly sexy style. It is a beautifully structured sofa with a hint of romance. Many believe that this style of sofa originated from a design by Thomas Chippendale. In fact, it shares similar traits to that of a Chippendale chair.
  • English Roll Sofa – An English room sofa is the ideal choice for those seeking a sophisticated addition to a room. As the name implies, this sofa features bun-like arms and spindle legs. The roll arms are amply cushioned but do not run the entire length of the sofa. Hence, it is a keystone feature in the design.
  • Chesterfield Sofa – This type of vintage sofa comes with a British origin. Like the tuxedo, this one also comes with a boxy silhouette. In addition, it has featured leveled back and arms. The details that tufting and scrolled arm caps provide a playful contrast. It is ideally used in a large room as the deep seat takes up a colossal amount of space.
  • Track Arm Sofa – This vintage sofa features wide and spacious arms along with an extra wide girth. Hence, it is a practical style as it can be functional too. This sofa is notable for its blocky and rectangular silhouette.
  • Mid-Century Sofa – This is the simplest in the design of this list – it comes with no bells and whistles. The mid-century sofa has a low, skimming profile best known for its functional simplicity.

Who is the manufacturer or maker?

Below are some of the well-known sofa manufacturers in history:

  • Thomas Chippendale
  • Matthias Lock
  • Henry Copland
  • Thomas Sheraton
  • John Linnell
  • William Kent

If you own an antique sofa manufactured by any of these furniture makers, it is possible you can get a good value for it.

How rare is it?

The rarity of an antique sofa adds to its value. When a sofa is rare, it increases in value. Since they are rare, you would be lucky to get your hands on a one-of-a-kind piece too.

What is the overall condition?

Antique sofas are considered as such if they are at least 100 years old. Ideally, it should still be in working condition for it to be given maximum appraisal. The sofa must not have any missing parts such as legs or arms. In addition, it should not have broken embellishments or stained fabric too. The process of re-painting or re-finishing the antique sofa might improve its condition but it loses authenticity in the process. You should be extra careful when doing any work on the sofas.

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