Dovetails - A Clue for Dating Antiques - The Harp Gallery
Examining these elements individually, as well as furniture pieces in their entirety, will help you learn to correctly date them. This type of turned furniture foot, separated from the leg by a ring, is basically cylindrical in shape although it swells out slightly and then tapers down to a plain point. This is sometimes called a drake foot.
- If you have a piece with brasses, it's most likely pres or a revival piece from the late s on.
- It is sometimes called a knurl toe.
- When the joint is expertly executed, it is a thing of beauty, and a secure joining of two boards that can last for centuries.
- Silk, wool, and cotton have been spun and woven into a variety of damasks, satins, and brocades with many different patterns.
- Several good books covering early American furniture history are available online or at local bookstores.
This is one of the quickest and most definitive ways to accurately determine the age of an antique piece of furniture. The monopodium foot also appears on sofas, chairs and case pieces. Honing your wood identification skills can really pay off in this area. These routers were ancestors of the electric precision tools of today, and could be used to rapidly cut a machined dovetail joint. 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.
If your piece is seeing this darkening effect, you're safe to assume that the piece is at least years old. One of the most basic furniture foot examples, this style named for its actual resemblance to a bracket. It has been widely used since then. Machine made furniture produced largely after will have components that match more perfectly than those made by hand.
From the s up until the Eastlake period in the s, brass hardware fell out of favor in furniture manufacture and was sparsely used. Oak is highly popular in furniture that dates from to earlier years. This foot type has been popular almost continuously, in variations, dota since it was introduced in the s.
Identifying Antique Furniture Foot Styles
Combining this dating process with several other techniques will help you make an accurate age determination. The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating. This over-view of the dovetailing techniques should easily help identification and dating of most furniture from the last years. Sheep Collection purchases are excluded.
Determining the age of antiques is half the fun! How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture. Antique furnishings can tell a story one that may only exist in the imagination of the lucky person acquiring the piece.
How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture
They are sometimes referred to as a Dutch foot or spoon foot. It is basically a more squat version of a ball foot, flattened slightly on top and wider at the bottom. Although the dolphin as decoration dates back to Renaissance furniture, the use specifically in a chair or table feet began around the mids. This is a rounded, how turned furniture foot style in a variation of the bun foot.
But, many of the original wood components may have been refinished leaving original paint deep in the wood's pores. Fabric that is original on your antique can provide serious clues of its age. And, realize that those masterpieces are actually few and far between.
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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. Sometimes referred to as a spool foot. The slow and laborious crafting and carving, one piece at a time, curse voice auto matchmaking by a master woodworker was not suited to the new mass market.
Manually operated hand saws left a straighter pattern in comparison. But, it is important to determine which type of wood is most prevalent in your antique to help determine the age. The tips were blunt in these oldest screws, and each one was unique. It is sometimes called a French bracket foot, dating services in in fact.
Feet and chair spindles were also carved individually, so there is no way each one could possibly look identical. While it is possible that an owner replaced the knobs on an antique with more modern units, you'll most likely be able to tell. Hand made screws and nails were relatively expensive and could rust and expand, sometimes cracking the wood they secured. It was especially popular, with regional variations, in Irish and Philadelphia furniture. This secretary desk from about was built by a good country carpenter, notice the dovetails on the side of the drawer, and holding the top and side planks together as well.
- The first screws were crafted in the s by blacksmiths using square nail stock that was heated and pounded until it was somewhat round.
- As the dovetail joint evolved through the last one hundred thirty years, it becomes a clue for the age and authenticity of antique furniture.
- Examples featuring a metal claw gripping a glass ball are also common, especially in occasional tables and stools.
If you think that you have something really valuable on hand, or you just want to make sure that you have the best estimate as to the age of an antique hire an expert! The presence of brass hardware at all also tells a tale. That is what makes this field so exciting for newcomers and veterans alike.
Tips for Dating Old Pieces Made in America
How to Identify Antique Dressers
Showroom - Frequently Asked Questions. These were cut with a jig or pattern, and an apprentice could create a very well fitting and attractive joint. Real lacquer changes color after time.
If you find these hand finished screws in furniture, investigate other aspects of the pieces to see if they match the screws in age. As you examine the piece, sleuth for clues that support your initial theory that you have a piece of authentic period furniture. Some popular antiques are quite well documented and may be tied to a specific time period in history making an age determination quite simple.
Sometimes it is referenced as a console leg. 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. Screws made from about through the mids were partially machine made giving the threading a more even appearance, according to Taylor.
The next technological development in joinery was again American. Here is an oak cylinder roll desk from about with keyhole dovetailed drawers. The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the surfaces were polished. There was resistance - in England, carpenters unions went on strike over the use of electric saws, fearing the end of their livelihoods. Cuts and nicks can also leave proof that hand chisels and other tools operated with sheer elbow grease were used to shape woods.