Furniture dating, identifying furniture marks
These are an often overlooked method of determining the age of an antique the builder is telling you when it was constructed! Once lacquer hits the century mark it tends to turn quite dark. You might want to start with the references below. If you have a piece with brasses, it's most likely pres or a revival piece from the late s on. An analysis of glue remnants could be the key to precisely defining the age of a hand-cut dovetailed antique.
Dovetails have long been a popular method for attaching two pieces of wood at a degree angle often seen in drawer construction. Moving into the s, maple and cherry showed up in fine furniture manufacture quite often. This furniture foot style consists of a tapered cylinder that is separated from the leg by a turned ring. Antique furnishings can tell a story one that may only exist in the imagination of the lucky person acquiring the piece. It is sometimes called a knurl toe.
Identifying Furniture Marks
Most antique wooden furniture you will encounter, will either be from traditional English periods or American Colonial styles. Follow Follow Follow Follow. Becoming knowledgeable about antique furniture takes research, even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this wide-ranging subject.
Looking at the joinery, or the way a piece of antique furniture is put together, will provide many clues that help in determining the age. Can you circa date solely on the type of wood used? The finish on the wood can also date the piece. Cuts and nicks can also leave proof that hand chisels and other tools operated with sheer elbow grease were used to shape woods. Antiques will show evidence of use and normal wear and tear.
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. If your piece is seeing this darkening effect, you're safe to assume that the piece is at least years old. By the end of the s, dovetails became thin and delicate.
Identifying Antique Furniture Foot Styles
Use your fingers on drawer bottoms or backboards of case furniture. The monopodium foot also appears on sofas, kundali match making software chairs and case pieces. The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the surfaces were polished.
Dovetailing reveals the age and hand-cut or machine-made origins of wood furniture. The Pharaoh's Footstool Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife. Chrome and Formica on your furniture? This foot type has been popular almost continuously, in variations, since it was introduced in the s.
Combining this dating process with several other techniques will help you make an accurate age determination. The massive horizontal stone lintels at Stonehenge were connected by dovetailing, more rounded than triangular. Old veneer could not be cut thin. There is some detective work to be done if you want to really ensure that the antique is real, and a qualified inspector should be hired if you're spending any appreciable sum of money. Silk, wool, and cotton have been spun and woven into a variety of damasks, satins, and brocades with many different patterns.
Identifying Antique Furniture Foot Styles
In the late s, scalloped dovetails were the rage, david beckham dating but the trend shifted back to the classic triangular shape after a few years. What is the furniture made of? The strength of the joint is the reason for its long popularity. How can you tell the age of a piece of furniture? Sheep Collection purchases are excluded.
Semler Appraisals and Estate Liquidations
Real lacquer changes color after time. It is a variation of the club foot, distinguished by the underlying disk. And, realize that those masterpieces are actually few and far between.
As you examine the piece, sleuth for clues that support your initial theory that you have a piece of authentic period furniture. If you find a piece of furniture that seems to combine several styles, it is most probably not a period piece, but a later reproduction. To determine age, consider the form and function, tool marks, construction techniques, and materials used in the furniture. Construction techniques can assist you in dating furniture.
Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education. As discussed above, this is especially evident on the back or underside of pieces made prior to the mids. Some classics are still being made today. Most antique furniture tends to be purchased by ordinary everyday people, rather than dedicated antique furniture collectors.
Boxy shapes with joined wood angles were connected by dovetailing, a fact that contributed to the intact state of the grave goods when the pyramids and burial chambers were excavated. It was especially popular, with regional variations, in Irish and Philadelphia furniture. It is usually plain, even if the attached leg is fluted as shown in this example. And that is even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this very diverse subject.
Look for age clues in the hardware used. Possibly, you have a Federal or American Empire piece. But the style developed into a very thin, precise and fragile-looking joint.
Windsor chairs were not around before the Queen Anne period. It is bulb-shaped with a slender neck, usually has a ring on top, and bulges outward before tapering down into a round collar or base. Manually operated hand saws left a straighter pattern in comparison. Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife. You may not be able to see this with the naked eye, but if you measure a circular table top with the grain and then across the grain, search for dating site there should be a difference if the table is an antique.
- Chairs with exaggerated proportions, winged splats, shell motifs, and trifid feet were all characteristic of the sophisticated furniture made in colonial Philadelphia.
- These tips will get you started, but I encourage you to read and study further.
- In other words, more vintage furniture is acquired for its beauty and function rather than the profit potential of a piece.
- From the s up until the Eastlake period in the s, brass hardware fell out of favor in furniture manufacture and was sparsely used.
- Short and squat examples usually decorate heavy case pieces while more slender examples can be used on chairs as shown.
Identifying Antique Furniture and Furnishings
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. We do not sell, share, or otherwise allow others the use of our distribution list. 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. Several good books covering early American furniture history are available online or at local bookstores.
Identifying Furniture Marks
- 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.
- The style never caught on outside North American and was gradually abandoned in favor of the classic dovetail.
- Oak is highly popular in furniture that dates from to earlier years.
- When trying to identify antique furniture, dedicated antique hunters search for beautifully preserved pieces, armed with pins, magnifying glasses, spirit levels and all sorts of testing equipment.
- The type of wood is the final clue.
The vertical, crisp, uniform marks left by the band saw are not very deep. The tips were blunt in these oldest screws, and each one was unique. 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. Are all the parts original, or have there been replacements and repairs?
Hand-cut dovetailing was the default until when uniform machine-cut joints were introduced. There were few dovetails in each drawer. Some pieces, like chairs, may have matching dolphin arms and feet. Since wood is an organic material, it shrinks across the grain with age.
Today, dovetail joints are machine made, and that fact is what helps to pinpoint the age of the chest of drawers from the attic. On handmade furniture, rungs, slats, spindles, rockers, and other small-diameter components are not uniform. Get Notified of Our Estate Sales Join our email list to receive the latest estate sales dates, addresses, we've been dating for 6 and directions delivered right to your inbox.