Moving antiques on your own is not recommended as the risk of damage is great. As a general rule, if you can’t move the item by yourself, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

You might have just bought an antique item through an auction house such as Leonard Joel, or Abbeys Auctions, and you now need the item transported from the auction house to your home. If you do plan to move the item on your own, more often than not these companies will have someone on hand to help you load the item.

We spoke to a moving company who specialises in transporting antique furniture for some tips:

Handling and Moving

When moving your antique furniture, there are precautions you can take to minimize damage that may occur.

The first thing you should do before moving an item is check for damaged joinery. Over time, timber might have split, nails might have come loose, or timber might have seperated from glue.

Check underneath the item when possible and pay special attention to the leg joinery. The legs can quite often be decorative and prone to breaking. Even if the legs are showing no signs of wear, you must be cautious moving the item and it must be picked up and put down gently.  Dragging can cause a great deal of strain. The legs can handle the weight of the item, but not necessarily the shearing motion of the unit being dragged.

Check for loose timber or glass shelves and remove them before moving the item. Likewise check for loose marble, glass, or timber tops and remove them before moving. Doors should be locked off and the key removed to prevent the key from snapping off in the door if it is knocked. Protect glass doors with moving blankets or other adequate padding.

Marble tops should be removed and transported vertically. A marble top transported laying flat can crack easily. Mirrors and glass should also be transported and stored vertically.

Chairs should always be carried by the seat rails as opposed to the back splat, top rail or arms. Tables should be carried by the apron or legs instead of the top which could pull loose from the base. Large pieces should always be lifted and never dragged across the floor.

Large items should be transported on their back or top, preferably their back.