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. As discussed above, this is especially evident on the back or underside of pieces made prior to the mids. Cuts and nicks can also leave proof that hand chisels and other tools operated with sheer elbow grease were used to shape woods. Looking at the bottom or back of a piece, or inside its doors and drawers, can provide important clues about whether or not a piece of old furniture was machine cut or crafted by hand.
Screws made from about through the mids were partially machine made giving the threading a more even appearance, according to Taylor. The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the surfaces were polished. As you examine the piece, sleuth for clues that support your initial theory that you have a piece of authentic period furniture.
This is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. Others sat on stools and benches. Antique Furniture is one of the most fascinating sections of antique collecting. Others feature upholstery fabric that pinpoints a particular era, such as olive green velvety fabric with large printed flowers from the s through s.
Straight saw marks also indicate an old piece. This is one of the quickest and most definitive ways to accurately determine the age of an antique piece of furniture. Becoming knowledgeable about antique furniture takes research, even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this wide-ranging subject. The walnuts quickly became almost entirely superseded by the exotic newcomer, which remained the favourite choice for the next century, especially in England and America. Early armchairs often had loose seat cushions stuffed with feathers.
The underside of the chair often offers the best clues as to its general age. If the piece of furniture is dirty or encrusted with wax, clean it first with a mixture of denatured alcohol, white vinegar, and kerosene, in equal parts. Real lacquer changes color after time. The way the chair is assembled is a big clue to its age.
Identifying Antique Furniture and Furnishings
For example, if the joints don't match up and the piece looks shoddily assembled, it's most likely a reproduction. Most antique wooden furniture you will encounter, will either be from traditional English periods or American Colonial styles. Determining the age of antique furniture is the first step in establishing a proper valuation, as well as verifying that the piece is indeed an authentic furnishing from the era in question.
Dovetails have long been a popular method for attaching two pieces of wood at a degree angle often seen in drawer construction. This filling, like the common fabrics of any era, has changed over time. In the s, this stamp was often placed under the seat or inside a back leg. This supports the Maven widget and search functionality. In other words, for more vintage furniture is acquired for its beauty and function rather than the profit potential of a piece.
That is what makes this field so exciting for newcomers and veterans alike. We partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. Other brass hardware can be an indicator of age as well. Use it to figure out your own style as you identify antique chairs.
In this case, the fabric alone is not enough to determine the chair's age. If modern phillips-head screws are on the chair, holding legs or the seat assembly in place, chat dating phone numbers it's likely a modern chair. Manufacturers have been stamping their wares for centuries.
This is used to prevent bots and spam. Seat Filling An upholstered chair also has a substance behind the fabric to give the chair its softness and comfort. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. Sometimes style is enough to tell how old a chair is, interracial especially if that style was only popular for a short time. The finish on the wood can also date the piece.
Some articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. This can mean that they were handcrafted prior to or so. If you find these hand finished screws in furniture, investigate other aspects of the pieces to see if they match the screws in age. Machine made furniture produced largely after will have components that match more perfectly than those made by hand.
A Photo Guide to Antique Chair Identification
- Antique Abalone Inlay Cane Chairs.
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- Oak is highly popular in furniture that dates from to earlier 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.
- An upholstered chair also has a substance behind the fabric to give the chair its softness and comfort.
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Tips & Advice on Identifying Antique Furniture
If the tag features a website address, that's a huge clue that it is a modern reproduction. 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. The most expensive antique furniture piece sold in recent years was a Badminton cabinet that was crafted during the Medici years in Florence.
- Your guide to antique pottery marks, porcelain marks and china marks.
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- The fabric or upholstery on a chair is often the giveaway as to its age.
Can you circa date solely on the type of wood used? If it has only a few dovetail joints, with pins narrower than the dovetails, then the joint was made by hand. 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. The presence of brass hardware at all also tells a tale.
In the s, synthetic materials such as upholstery foam and fiberfill entered the scene. And, realize that those masterpieces are actually few and far between. Before that, the chair was essentially a stool with a back, and only the head of the house or the upper echelon of society sat in them. Reproductions Antique furniture styles are still in use today and many reproductions exist. 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.
Determine the Age of Antique Furniture
French Scallop Carved Distressed Armchair. This is feature allows you to search the site. Lacquer has been applied to wood furniture for centuries, and if the piece you're inspecting claims to have the original finish, you may be able to date the piece quite easily. The first screws were crafted in the s by blacksmiths using square nail stock that was heated and pounded until it was somewhat round. The Internet has information on many manufacturers and chair artisans, dating your dads girlfriends daughter so you may be able to look this name up online.
If there is no tag, look for a stamp or even handwritten information on the seat bottom, in case the chair was handmade. Slotted screws are somewhat older. When hand planes were used to smooth woods, they more often than not left some sort of uneven surface.
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. Antique chairs are those made more than years ago, while vintage chairs span the time up to the s. These are an often overlooked method of determining the age of an antique the builder is telling you when it was constructed! Armchairs made after often have coiled springs, a filling using available substances such as feathers, and webbing or padding beneath the fabric.
Chairs have been through numerous style changes over the years, decades and even centuries. Combining this dating process with several other techniques will help you make an accurate age determination. Silk, wool, and cotton have been spun and woven into a variety of damasks, satins, and brocades with many different patterns.