Buying an Antique Console Table

The antique console table is one of the most sought after pieces of antique furniture.  Perhaps, it is so desired because there are so few really high quality authentic antique tables available.  Most collectors know what they have and do not want to sell.

For anyone looking for an authentic antique, be ready to pull out the checkbook or cash in a Certificate of Deposit.  However, for a somewhat more reasonable price a collectible console table can be purchased.  The difference between an real antique and a collectible is more than age, it is also condition.  Authentic antiques in excellent quality are extremely hard to come by — particularly with the original patina, and that is one of the things that gives value.

For the purpose of this writing, when we discuss antique console tables we are actually speaking of collectibles.  As always, it is suggested that the furniture auction is the first place to shop.  Most of us are not going to be bidding in a large auction house, and most of us are not going to find an original Louis XIV console table.  (look left)  Of course, few of us — although there may be a few — would actually use this gilded table in our home decor.

However, we can find some great pieces at good prices.  If, you are not familiar with shopping for wood or solid furniture at auction, you are referred to Buying Solid Used Furniture for all the tips to look for at auction.

Unless you are bidding at Sotheby’s or Christie’s, remember that you are buying used furniture.  Call it a collectible or an antique, keep a perspective on what you are doing.  It goes without saying that the seller or the auctioneer is going to give the best details of the piece.  That is their job.  As a buyer, you are going to look for the blemishes.  It will give you room to negotiate.

  • Look at the “antique console table” and determine how much you are willing to pay.  Set a limit and stick to it.
  • Examine the piece.  If shopping at an online auction, ask for close up pictures from every angle.
  • Check the joints for replacements or repairs.
  • If the table has been painted, check to see if any of the legs or parts have been replaced.
  • Determine if the piece is a reproduction.  It may look like an antique, but always ask!
  • Be willing to walk away.  There are more tables than the one you are looking at.