Terms of Use Privacy Policy. Check for evidence of age. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Antiques will show evidence of use and normal wear and tear. Customers who bought this item also bought.


English Choose a language for shopping. On the other hand, machine-cut dovetails definitely establish that the furniture is no older than about , when the dovetail-cutting machine was invented. With the claw and ball example, there were many makers here in the Eastern states who made the claw and ball feature. If you can feel slight, parallel ridges and hollows, the piece was hand planed, probably prior to the midth Century.

You must have JavaScript enabled in your browser to utilize the functionality of this website. Antiques will show evidence of use and normal wear and tear. Screws that look like modern variations that you'd find in dating american furniture local home improvement store have no place on antiques that date from before circa Shop Blog, Woodworking Blogs. Don't leave it up to an educated guess consult a guide that is designed to help you determine the age of your piece, dating american furniture. An analysis of these pores with a Jeweler's loop can help you determine if the wood was painted, and if so do all of the individual components of the antique furniture match in age? 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. Use your fingers on drawer bottoms or backboards of case furniture. I purchased this book not really knowing anything about it but seeing it suggested in Miller's Price Guide. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. Seldom does one clue provide confirmation of anything. You really need to have the details at your finger tips. Pilaster Productions, Charleston, NC. By Bob Flexner Pages A while back, my wife and I were visiting friends who wanted to show us their collection of antique furniture. Read more Read less. Published on July 17, Keep in mind, wood components can be replaced and this may affect your ability to determine the exact age of a piece. Any antique furniture buyer will tell you it is so very hard to keep the details of different unique makers marks straight while out and about looking at furniture. Oak joint stools, on the other hand, have been around for five hundred years. Three-ply plywood as we know it today was made in Determine the style of the piece: How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture. Third Edition - Completely Revised. Also, clearly visible scribe marks and saw or chisel overcuts frequently remain on the wood. Terms of Use Privacy Policy.

This is a big topic to tackle and it will not be possible to cover many dating american furniture in this short column. To determine age, consider the form and function, tool marks, construction techniques, and materials used in the furniture. Check for evidence of age. Is it a coffee table or king-size bed? They appeared in the s. Windsor chairs were not around before the Queen Anne period. Game or card tables did not exist in great numbers until the end of the 17th Century.

Oak joint stools, on the other hand, have been around for five hundred years. If you can locate tool marks on a piece of exposed wood, dating american furniture, you might have some clues to follow. Pit saws, used from roughly the s toleft irregular, slanted, deep rough marks.

Up-and-down saws left vertical, crisp uniform marks and were used from to the s. Probably the easiest to recognize are the curved marks left by the circular saw, circa Aroundband saws were introduced. The vertical, crisp, uniform marks left by the band saw are not very deep. Use your fingers on drawer bottoms or backboards of case furniture. If you can feel slight, parallel ridges and hollows, the piece was hand planed, probably prior to the midth Century.

Construction techniques can assist you in dating furniture. A joint is where two pieces of wood come together. In the 17th Century, butt and rabbet joints were used. Hand-cut dovetails appeared late in that century and for the next 80 years or so, dovetails were wide, stubby, and crude. There were few dovetails in each drawer. By the end of the s, dovetails became thin and delicate. Mortise and tenon joints were also used in the 18th and early 19th Centuries. 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.

Scalloped dovetails can be dated to the s and were only used for a short time, dating american furniture. Machine cut dovetails were made from the middle of the s onward. What is the furniture made of? Three-ply plywood as we know it today was made in Chrome and Formica on your furniture? Look for age clues in the hardware used. On the other hand, hand forged nails and screws with off-center slots and uneven threads can be taken from older furniture and used in a piece made yesterday.

Check for the thickness of veneers. Old veneer could not be cut thin. Learn to recognize the elements of different furniture styles. 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. Do the proportions and size appear to be correct? Are all the parts original, or have there been replacements and repairs? Date an object from its youngest feature. Since wood is an organic material, it shrinks across the grain with age.

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, there should be a difference if the table is an antique. On turned parts of furniture, such as chair legs, use calipers to take measurements to check for shrinkage. Antiques will show evidence of use and normal wear and tear. Wood will also show signs of oxidation and patination with prolonged exposure to air and light.

These tips will get you started, but I encourage you to read and study further. You might want to start with the references below. Pilaster Productions, Charleston, NC. Join our email list to receive the latest estate sales dates, addresses, and directions delivered right to your inbox. How can you tell the age of a piece of furniture? Fake, Fraud, or Genuine? Get Notified of Our Estate Sales Join our email list to receive the latest estate sales dates, addresses, and directions delivered right to your inbox.

We do not sell, share, or otherwise allow others the use of our distribution list. Facebook Follow LinkedIn Follow.


In the 17th Century, butt and rabbet joints were used. On the other hand, hand forged nails and screws with off-center slots and uneven threads can be taken from older furniture and used in a piece made yesterday. Any antique furniture buyer will tell you it is so very hard to keep the details of different unique makers marks straight while out and about looking at furniture. Third Edition - Completely Revised. On the other hand, machine-cut dovetails definitely establish that the furniture is no older than aboutwhen the dovetail-cutting machine was invented. How can you tell the age of a piece of furniture? Published on June 9, 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. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. First, dating furniture is a fine art. Inspect the screws or nails to help determine age: It wasn't until this time that sophisticated jigs and cutters were built to automate this process. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Real lacquer changes color after time. Check the date and manufacturer's stamp: JavaScript seems to be disabled in your dating american furniture. With more than seventeen hundred superb drawings, this authoritative book offers a unique visual system for identifying the style of virtually any piece of American antique furniture. Windsor chairs were not around before the Queen Anne period. Check the wood for type and cut: The Bulfinch Anatomy of Antique Furniture: Also important are style including hardwareshrinkage, nails, screws, dating american furniture, locks, the primary and secondary woods used, the type of finish, tell-tale tool marks, areas of wear and general appearance. Machine cut dovetails were made from the middle of the s onward. These are not full color photos, but rather line drawings which actually work better when you are looking at style rather than one particular example. Oak is highly popular in furniture that dates from to earlier years.