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How Do I Choose the Best Antique French Chairs?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

The first step in choosing the best antique French chairs is to learn as much as possible about the chairs you are considering purchasing. Many styles of French chairs exist, so you will need to do a fair amount of research to learn about the different styles from different time periods, their defining characteristics, and their common values based on condition. The best place to find antique French chairs is, of course, France, but if a trip to another country is not an option for you, consider visiting several local antiques dealers to find the best resources for your chair search.

If you intend to buy your antique French chairs from an antiques dealer, be sure to research the various dealers in your area to find a reputable shop with fair prices. Knowing as much as possible about the chairs themselves will help you determine whether you are being given a fair price for an authentic piece of furniture. Know as much as possible about the ways to determine a piece's authenticity, and try to gauge how much refurbishing the chairs will need before they can be used. It is helpful to have a basic understanding of the price of upholstery, materials, and labor for refurbishing when buying antique French chairs from an antiques dealer.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Many antique French chairs are upholstered, and the old upholstery may be worn out, stretched, or simply unattractive due to age and mold or mildew build-up. The chair will need to be reupholstered, which means you will either need to do this job yourself or find a furniture restorer who can do the job without damaging the antique piece. Some upholstery businesses will do this job, but many will not for fear of damaging an expensive antique. Sometimes it is necessary to find an antique refurbishing business to do this job, which means you will need to have an understanding of prices before purchasing the chair so you know what the overall cost of the project will be.

It is a good idea to draw up a budget beforehand, especially if you intend to buy more than one chair. It may be difficult to find matching antique French chairs, but it is not impossible. If you are looking for more than one chair, it is best to find an antiques dealer who can track down a set; it is very likely that such a set will need to come directly from France, which can drive up the cost of the chairs if you live in another country.

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