Is it better to buy antique furniture for your home or copies? The word 'copy' might be unfair to cabinetmakers skilled in hand-crafting reproductions since many are better made than the originals, but that is fundamentally what they are.
In using the term 'better made' there is no intention to suggest that the reproductions are better than the originals.
However, it is possible for a reproduction Louis XIV sofa to be stronger than the original due to advances in construction techniques. That is itself is admitting that it would not then be a perfect copy if there ever could be such a thing.
The original or the copy. While it would be great to be able to afford to buy the originals of such fine furniture, in many respects it would not be suitable for the modern home. You can also check various FURNITURE Archives at Pure White Lines online.
How Are Antiques Defined?
First, what is the definition of an 'antique?' In 1930, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act defined it as being any item produced prior to 1830.
In 1966, the U.S. Customs Office changed this to be any item over 100 years old (for some reason excluding carpets and rugs!) In 1993, this was further amended to include objects that have been amended or restored with modern parts where these do not exceed 50% and where the intrinsic character of the object has not been changed.
Given this, then any item made prior to 1913 can be regarded as antique. It is not these items with which we are concerned but furniture of recognized antiquity.