danger signs when buying antique furniture?
A neighbor of mine has a very pretty antique chaise she might be willing to sell. Heavy, carved frame on the bottom, cushion on the top. Badly covered -- staples show where the fabric meets the frame. I haven't touched it, sat on it, or turned it over, so I have no idea what condition it's in. She wants $800 for it, which I think is not realistic, but if I can negotiate for it I might be interested.
Here's the thing: I have never bought antique furniture before. What should I look for, and what are warning signs I should avoid? How can I tell if the frame is sturdy without taking up the fabric and looking? Does it matter what material the cushioning is currently made of, and again, how can I assess its condition without taking the upholstery off to take a look? Is there any way I can estimate the cost of what I'd need to do to it, which will influence how much I'd be willing to pay for it?
Thanks in advance, all.