How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture

How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture

To return to our theme about this being the era when children and adult collectors were re-constructing historical dollhouses and furnishings, another avenue still popular today was the kit. It is important to consider whether a house you are contemplating purchasing as antique is in fact made from a factory kit in recent years. Once the house is assembled and painted — and the decor will vary from house to house as the owner’s individual taste dictates — its origins are not always apparent, especially if the house has been roughly played with or left outdoors for a period of time. Appearing older because of harsh handling instead of showing a patina acquired over 70 to years, it may enter the realm of the fake — sometimes due to lack of knowledge on the seller’s part. Let us say that the house’s style is Victorian — perhaps an L plan, verandahs, bay windows and gingerbread trim — and said to date from the s. In this case, there should be glass in the windows, solid not plywood wood walls, nails and aged paint. If, on the other hand, it is a kit of the s or ’80s representing a style of the era, it will have modern thin plastic in the windows, thin plywood often mahogany , precise cuts due to factory techniques, recent paint, no nails but instead relying on glue and the occasional tab to hold it together. A seller may say it was hand-made in the s or ’40s to explain the plywood but, in that time period, the Victorian style was out of favour and would not have been considered when designing a dollhouse. The Victorian style, however, was greatly admired in the last quarter of the 20th century.

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It is available with one or two 24″ leaves for seating of up to eight or ten, respectively. It features graceful cabriole legs with superior shell carved knees. With both leaves open, this table easily accommodates six. This particular dining table is the first made by Kittinger for the Colonial Williamsburg Reproduction Program and, therefore, is extremely rare. Made of figurative mahogany with extensive reeding, this table has two gates supported by tapered columnar posts and splayed legs with brass paw feet and casters.

This is a perfect table for intimate dining.

The best information I found over the years about fireplaces & cooking, etc., was culled from books published in the ‘s. I never did save the titles, because at the time, I had no plans of ever putting together a website like this.

Egypt Beds, stools, throne chairs, and boxes were the chief forms of furniture in ancient Egypt. Although only a few important examples of actual furniture survive, stone carvings, fresco paintings, and models made as funerary offerings present rich documentary evidence. The bed may have been the earliest form; it was constructed of wood and consisted of a simple framework supported on four legs. A flax cord, plaited, was lashed to the sides of the framework.

The cords were woven together from opposite sides of the framework to form a springy surface for the sleeper. In the 18th dynasty c. The great beds found in the tomb of Tutankhamen were put together with bronze hooks and staples so that they could be dismantled or folded to facilitate storage and transportation; furniture existed in small quantities and when the pharaohs toured their lands, they took their beds with them.

For Sale: Tables

As Berge noted in referring to bottles, the ” This bottle dating “key” is a relatively simple “first cut” on the dating of a bottle. Please be aware that in order to gain the maximum information about any particular bottle e. Unfortunately, the complexities of precisely dating bottles is beyond the scope of any simple key.

What is Transforming Furniture? Transforming furniture refers to a broad category of products and home furnishings that have more than one practical function. This can range from something as simple as a sofa bed or an extension table to more hyper-functional pieces such .

Wood Wood is the material most often used for making furniture. Although there are over a hundred different kinds that can be used for furniture, some woods have natural properties that make them superior to the others. A relatively cheap material, wood lends itself to various kinds of treatment; for example, it can be stained, painted, gilded, and glued. It can be shaped by means of hand- or power-operated cutting and drilling tools.

Heated, it can be bent to a certain extent into a predetermined shape and thereafter will retain the shape. The grain in wood creates a structure with varying character, which in itself provides a natural ornamental surface, in which patterns can be formed by means of precalculated juxtapositions. Colours range from white, yellow, green, red, brown, gray to black through countless intermediary tones.

By juxtaposing wood of different colours, extremely rich effects have been achieved, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. Wood, if stored under favourable conditions, is durable, and pieces of furniture from the oldest civilizations—Egypt, for example—are still extant. Lastly, most wood has an aromatic scent.

Walnut armchair attributed to an unknown Philadelphia craftsman, c. Using timber as a basis and applying techniques such as shredding, heating and glueing, it has been possible to evolve new materials. To an increasing extent, cabinetmakers and furniture factories are using semi-manufactured wood such as veneer , carcass wood, plywood, laminated board, and hardboard fibreboard. Veneer is a very thin layer of particularly fine wood that has been glued on to inferior wood in order to produce a smooth and attractive surface.

For Sale: Tables

Origins[ edit ] The Shakers were one of a few religious groups formed in 18th century in the Northwest of England ; [1] originating out of the Wardley Society. James and Jane Wardley and others broke off from the Quakers in [2] [3] at a time when the Quakers were weaning themselves away from frenetic spiritual expression. Their belief was based upon spiritualism and included the notion that they received messages from the spirit of God which were expressed during religious revivals.

HOME: Bottle Dating. INTRODUCTION. This page and associated sub-pages allows a user to run an American produced utilitarian bottle or a significantly sized bottle fragment through a series of questions based primarily on diagnostic physical, manufacturing related characteristics or features to determine the approximate manufacturing age range of the item.

The earliest fireplaces were simply places where you set the fire. There might be an opening in the wall or roof to let out the smoke. Later a smoke hood would be added to channel the smoke up and away from the room, and eventually the fire place evolved into what we think of now as a fireplace. This is a typical fireplace from the colonial settlement at Jamestown.

What you’re seeing in this picture is half of the entire house. The earliest American fireplaces were fairly small, but as things became more settled, and there was more time for chopping and collecting wood, they began to get larger, up to 8 or 10 feet wide in some cases. They could be big enough to place a bench in, so becoming the warmest place in the house.

There was a custom in England to have a small window in the back wall, and some early Americans also did this. Later, as ready wood became scarcer, fireplace started getting smaller again.

Identifying Antique Furniture

The earliest fireplaces were simply places where you set the fire. There might be an opening in the wall or roof to let out the smoke. Later a smoke hood would be added to channel the smoke up and away from the room, and eventually the fire place evolved into what we think of now as a fireplace. This is a typical fireplace from the colonial settlement at Jamestown. What you’re seeing in this picture is half of the entire house.

The Early Lives of Harvey and Lee. by John Armstrong. LEE Harvey Oswald was born in New Orleans on October 18, to Robert E. Lee Oswald and Marguerite Claverie .

Knowing the history of the technology of various periods goes a long way toward explaining clues about the age of furniture , and none is more important or accessible than the type of joint used to secure a drawer. Mostly what we see are dovetails of a sort. The interlocking dovetail joint came into general use in the William and Mary period in the late s and very early s, and for the first time, allowed the construction of reliable drawers, a device with extremely limited use or convenience until then.

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. Dovetail drawback As useful as the dovetail joint started out to be, it did have a serious drawback—it was hard to make by hand, and of course, everything of that period was made by hand.

By the end of the 18th century, some progress had been made in furniture technology. Rotary saws were on the horizon, and all nails were no longer made one at a time by a blacksmith. The early s saw lots of advancement in woodworking machinery, and by the Civil War, mechanized furniture factories were on line, but the dovetail drawer joint was still a holdup. While the joint had been refined and perfected, it was still too difficult to be made by a machine.

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Dovetails – A Clue for Dating Antiques by Ken Melchert Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands. As the dovetail joint evolved through the last one hundred thirty years, it becomes a clue for the age and authenticity of antique furniture. The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating. With just a little study of these examples, it is easy to spot true hand made construction vs.

The earliest examples are from furniture placed with mummies in Egypt thousands of years ago, and also in the burials of ancient Chinese emperors.

CW WILLIAMSBURG DINING TABLE BY KITTINGER. This solid mahogany table is a reproduction of a late 18th Century English antique. It is available with one or two 24″ leaves for seating of up to eight or ten, respectively.

American Furniture Many vintage furniture buyers opt for quality reproductions that are more affordable, and either option is fine providing that you research your subject well when identifying antique furniture. There is no exact science where antique furniture is concerned; you simply make an educated decision based on what is most important to you.

Researching and Identifying Antique Furniture Becoming knowledgeable about antique furniture takes research, even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this wide-ranging subject. Many collectors prefer particular eras, styles, and makers, while others have more eclectic tastes. Get an expert opinion: A trained eye is more likely to find an undervalued treasure or a clever fake than a novice ever would. Use the press and stay informed about current trends and potential scams in the antique trade by consulting popular and highly regarded antique trade publications.

Consider practical matters Carefully: Always check the size and weight of any piece of antique furniture that interests you.

John Reinhart Antique Picker at Antique

The practice of using natural objects as rudimentary pieces of furniture likely dates to the beginning of human civilisation. The site dates from — BC and due to a shortage of wood in Orkney, the people of Skara Brae were forced to build with stone, a readily available material that could be worked easily and turned into items for use within the household. Each house shows a high degree of sophistication and was equipped with an extensive assortment of stone furniture, ranging from cupboards, dressers and beds to shelves, stone seats, and limpet tanks.

The stone dresser was regarded as the most important as it symbolically faces the entrance in each house and is therefore the first item seen when entering, perhaps displaying symbolic objects, including decorative artwork such as several Neolithic Carved Stone Balls also found at the site. Pieces found here include tables and inlaid serving stands. There are also surviving works from the 9th-8th-century BC Assyrian palace of Nimrud.

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The A-Z of furniture: A piece of furniture or object that is more than years old. A term for a category of light which can be affixed to a wall. A pair of ormolu twin-branch wall appliques. A decorative element joining the surface of a chair or table with the legs. An English giltwood side table. An armchair can be any chair with arms. However, there are two different kinds: A tall standing wardrobe or closet, often used to store clothes, which can feature one to three doors and sometimes a mirrored panel.

A type of chair foot that ends in a tapered cylinder, often seen in the 18th century.

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