Antique Office Desks: How to Spot a Fake

Antique office desks are more popular than ever. Many people, from executive businessmen to the everyday Joe with a home office space, are finding that antique desks are an excellent choice for office.

Why do some people prefer to buy antique office desks over modern office desks? There are many reasons. One of the reasons is that antique desks offer a unique, elegant style combined with handmade craftsmanship that cannot be truly recreated with any type of modern desk. Another reason is that many people are fans of antique furniture due to its age, uniqueness, and the fact that it is sturdy enough to last for a hundred years or more. And some people find that they prefer the look of “old” furniture to new furniture—or they prefer certain features, such as hidden compartments or shelving specifically meant for writing tools—to modern pieces.

As a general rule of thumb, you should only purchase antique office desks from the late 18th century onward if you intend to use them practically without undergoing any major alterations or renovations on the piece. Antique office desks which are older than the late 18th century are likely more fragile and will require some extensive work in order to be “ready to use” in an office.

Whatever the reason, and whatever the era, antique office desks are sure to be a hot item for many years to come. If you are interested in purchasing an antique office desk, it is important to be able to determine one very important thin: whether or not the furniture is a fake or a fraud.

Every year, many people fall prey to fake antiques—modern reproductions which are being sold as antiques either by sellers without scruples or people who have been deceived themselves.

There is sometimes a fine line between a real antique and a modern reproduction, especially if the reproduction is very well made. However, there are some tell-tale signs that could help you differentiate between a desk that is fake, and one that is a real antique.

First, look at the general craftsmanship of the desk piece. The desk should look as if it was hand carved—even master furniture pieces are not 100% perfect or uniform, whereas modern reproductions made with factory pieces will often look perfectly made. A piece without flaws is either a museum-quality piece or a fake.

You should also look for wear and tear on the office desk. A real antique desk will have signs of use and wear, such as worn down areas in the wood, scratches, etc. Something which looks too perfect is usually either a new reproduction or not as old as the seller claims. If your “antique desk” smells like wood? Be wary—an old desk should not have that “wooden” smell that new pieces do, as the smell fades away over time. Old office desks will usually smell like dust and will never smell like real wood.