Honing your wood identification skills can really pay off in this area. These tips will get you started, but I encourage you to read and study further. Can you circa date solely on the type of wood used? 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, dating sites st petersburg pictures and fabric swatches. The presence of brass hardware at all also tells a tale.
The massive horizontal stone lintels at Stonehenge were connected by dovetailing, more rounded than triangular. Use your fingers on drawer bottoms or backboards of case furniture. Glues of the period sometimes weakened. In the late s, scalloped dovetails were the rage, but the trend shifted back to the classic triangular shape after a few years.
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If you find these hand finished screws in furniture, investigate other aspects of the pieces to see if they match the screws in age. Other brass hardware can be an indicator of age as well. It was also free, in societies where hand-forged screws or nails were luxuries that might rust, expand and split your bedpost, tabletop or chest of drawers. The use of the joinery technique stretches back into prehistory, but its utility is still relevant.
Then in the s and s they were using spray-on stencils. Hand dovetails pictured below, top piece are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered. Everything You Need to Know Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths. Hand dovetails are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered. If you look at much old furniture, you undoubtedly have seen this unusual-looking arrangement and wondered what the heck it was.
How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture
- This lavishly hand-carved cabinet from about shows structural dovetail joints on the back side.
- Tips on Distinguishing a True Antique From a Reproduction Follow these tips on how to determine if a piece of furniture is really an antique.
- The Pharaoh's Footstool Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife.
- Kriner, Fox Chapel Publishing.
- Check for evidence of age.
How to Identify Furniture of the s by Its Dovetailing. Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands. Today, dovetail joints are machine made, and that fact is what helps to pinpoint the age of the chest of drawers from the attic.
The use of square or oblong wooden pins that held in place by the shrinking of the wood was another joinery technique of that time. Look for age clues in the hardware used. If you have a piece with brasses, it's most likely pres or a revival piece from the late s on. But keep in mind that there are lots of exceptions to these rules, so err on the side of caution. To determine age, consider the form and function, tool marks, construction techniques, and materials used in the furniture.
The style never caught on outside North American and was gradually abandoned in favor of the classic dovetail. Is it a coffee table or king-size bed? Pinterest Facebook Twitter Email.
If you have a set with a separate mirror that hangs on the wall above the dresser, you can date that to the s or later. Hand made screws and nails were relatively expensive and could rust and expand, okey dating sometimes cracking the wood they secured. Mostly what we see are dovetails of a sort.
Examining these elements individually, as well as furniture pieces in their entirety, will help you learn to correctly date them. In he sold the rights to an improved version of the patented machine to a group of investors who formed the Knapp Dovetailing Company in Northhampton, Mass. But the style developed into a very thin, precise and fragile-looking joint. Some classics are still being made today. Showroom - Frequently Asked Questions.
- Screws made from about through the mids were partially machine made giving the threading a more even appearance, according to Taylor.
- There were few dovetails in each drawer.
- By the end of the s, dovetails became thin and delicate.
- More than likely, you will discover that you own a later revival piece although it's awfully fun to dream big when you begin your research.
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Renovation Realities am c. These were cut with a jig or pattern, and an apprentice could create a very well fitting and attractive joint. Look for original hardware and other details. Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife.
How to Date Antique Furniture
Regardless of whether your piece has value as an antique, these clues to its age and history can help you research appropriate finishes and hardware before you dive into your project. The use of hand tools and hand-cut dovetails is now the province of hobbyists and a few small shops creating authentic replicas of antique furniture. Follow Follow Follow Follow. What is the furniture made of?
Construction techniques can assist you in dating furniture. This over-view of the dovetailing techniques should easily help identification and dating of most furniture from the last years. The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating. How can you tell the age of a piece of furniture? Simpler country furniture often had larger dovetails, or even a single tail and pin.
Drawers Date Furniture
Hand-cut dovetailing was the default until when uniform machine-cut joints were introduced. The first screws were crafted in the s by blacksmiths using square nail stock that was heated and pounded until it was somewhat round. Follow these simple tips to clean antique finishes. Some progress had been made by the use of jigs to help guide the hand-powered saws in their cutting but essentially the dovetail was the last hold out of hand work in a machine era. Whether that tail is fat, skinny, dating in symmetrical or used sparingly reveals a clue to the origins of the piece.
Tiny angled saw cuts were followed by careful cutting by a sharpened chisel on both sides to avoid splintering. There was resistance - in England, carpenters unions went on strike over the use of electric saws, fearing the end of their livelihoods. Before this innovation most furniture consisted of simple boxes called coffers or some type of open shelving arrangement and cabinets with shelves behind doors such as the old court cupboard. Hand cut dovetails were used to hold the sides of drawers together, but also to join the structural members of case furniture. When the joint is expertly executed, it is a thing of beauty, and a secure joining of two boards that can last for centuries.