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Dating wood furniture, how to identify antique wooden furniture tips

Fine old pieces are often French-polished, a variation of the shellac finish. The presence of brass hardware at all also tells a tale. How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture. That said, it is important to realize that skilled craftsmen are building furniture by hand even today so you'll want to continue to investigate the age of the piece using at least one other method.

How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture
Be First to Discover
  1. There are many different styles of furniture, and each type has distinguishing features.
  2. If you aren't sure an antique is really antique, pay for an expert opinion.
  3. Is it a coffee table or king-size bed?
  4. While you may not have an example as extreme as that sitting in your garage, you never know what you may unearth as you determine the age and value of your antique.
Recognizing Age and Construction in Antique Furniture

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How to Date Furniture by Casters

How to Identify Antique Wooden Furniture Tips

Windsor chairs were not around before the Queen Anne period. Look for solid wood or plywood backing. The Vanilla Ice Project pm c. There were few dovetails in each drawer.

The tips were blunt in these oldest screws, and each one was unique. By the end of the s, globes dating dovetails became thin and delicate. Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email. Look for authentically worn or distressed stamps or manufacturer burn marks. This is a big topic to tackle and it will not be possible to cover many details in this short column.

Hand made screws and nails were relatively expensive and could rust and expand, sometimes cracking the wood they secured. Oak is highly popular in furniture that dates from to earlier years. On turned parts of furniture, such as chair legs, use calipers to take measurements to check for shrinkage. Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more. Oak joint stools, on the other hand, have been around for five hundred years.

But there are a number of other factors to consider as well, including the tools that were used to craft a piece and what the individual components look like. Glues of the period sometimes weakened. Just remember, if you like it, the style is right. The basic English and American styles run the gamut from ornate to severely functional, from massive to delicate. But because the same woods have always been favored for furniture, workmanship and finish are probably a better indicator of age than the wood itself.

Generally, mass-produced pieces up until the s and s when particleboard and cheaper, flimsier construction techniques became popular are great candidates for refinishing. These areas should be worn out. The cutting of the shaft should be uneven and the end blunted rather than pointed. This lavishly hand-carved cabinet from about shows structural dovetail joints on the back side. Shopping for Antiques and Identifying Their Value When going shopping for antiques, it's a good idea to bring along a notebook with room dimensions, pictures and fabric swatches.

Recognizing Age and Construction in Antique Furniture

Look for solid wood or plywood backing
Tips for Dating Old Pieces Made in America

Screws made from about through the mids were partially machine made giving the threading a more even appearance, snapchat dating australia according to Taylor. Check for evidence of age. Here is an oak cylinder roll desk from about with keyhole dovetailed drawers.

How to Date Furniture by Casters

These tips will get you started, but I encourage you to read and study further. It should have a bit of scarring to show for its time. Author Ken Melchert has taught Art History for many years. Feet and chair spindles were also carved individually, so there is no way each one could possibly look identical.

Machine made furniture produced largely after will have components that match more perfectly than those made by hand. The wear and tear of a piece of furniture also helps to tell its age. Does the type of screw or nail correspond with the era the style of hardware represents? McRae has written articles for multiple websites, drawing on her experience in the home improvement industry and hydroponic gardening. The vertical, crisp, death metal speed uniform marks left by the band saw are not very deep.

Dovetails - A Clue for Dating Antiques - The Harp Gallery

  • The corners should be dovetailed together.
  • The wood itself is the final clue.
  • Silk, wool, and cotton have been spun and woven into a variety of damasks, satins, and brocades with many different patterns.
  • Do the proportions and size appear to be correct?

How to Date Antique Furniture

Hand dovetails are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered. Learn to recognize the elements of different furniture styles. But if you are looking at a piece and need a quick idea, these few tips will help you along.

What to Look for When Buying Old Furniture

Semler Appraisals and Estate Liquidations

The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating. Combining this dating process with several other techniques will help you make an accurate age determination. This over-view of the dovetailing techniques should easily help identification and dating of most furniture from the last years. Honing your wood identification skills can really pay off in this area. Since wood is an organic material, it shrinks across the grain with age.

Our expert has the answers. Round tabletops should be out of round, meaning they should be slightly oval. But, it is important to determine which type of wood is most prevalent in your antique to help determine the age. Some popular antiques are quite well documented and may be tied to a specific time period in history making an age determination quite simple. Can you circa date solely on the type of wood used?

Fine antique dealers consider objects years and older to be antique. Let's look at the differences between basic English and American furniture styles in the next section. How a piece is constructed is a common measure of age. If so, housing benefit backdating the screw could be handmade.

Get Notified of Our Estate Sales Join our email list to receive the latest estate sales dates, addresses, and directions delivered right to your inbox. Look at the nails used in the construction of your piece of furniture. Determining the age of antiques is half the fun!

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram. If you find these hand finished screws in furniture, investigate other aspects of the pieces to see if they match the screws in age. By the nineteenth century, cabinetmakers were using several smaller dovetails to join together the sides of drawers. Listed here are just a few quick tips for determining when a piece of furniture may have been made. But keep in mind that there are lots of exceptions to these rules, so err on the side of caution.

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