Frequently Asked Questions

Below we have some great guidelines, but the REAL answer has to be found from a qualified appraiser. Most of the information below was garnered from the Antiques Roadshow Primer, but it is not complete. If you want more of the same type of information, we highly recommend you purchase the book at pbs. First, Determine if the “Antique Furniture” is Old — If it’s not old, it can’t be antique or valuable! Run your fingers underneath or over the back of the piece: If the upholstery is not original, lift one edge: Look for the distinctive curved pattern left in sawn wood by the teeth of a circular saw. It is one important sign of manufacture after Remove one screw in some inconspicuous spot. An old antique, handmade screw will have irregular widths between the spirals, running the whole length of the shaft.

Antique Furniture Hardware

Rosewood, mahogany, bird’s eye maple veneer, marble, ormolu, and leather. In the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum American Empire is a French -inspired Neoclassical style of American furniture and decoration that takes its name and originates from the Empire style introduced during the First French Empire period under Napoleon’s rule. It gained its greatest popularity in the U.

As an early th-century design movement in the United States, it encompassed architecture , furniture and other decorative arts , as well as the visual arts. Other major furniture centers renowned for regional interpretations of the American Empire style were Boston , Philadelphia , and Baltimore. Many examples of American Empire cabinetmaking are characterized by antiquities-inspired carving, gilt-brass furniture mounts, and decorative inlays such as stamped-brass banding with egg-and-dart , diamond, or Greek-key patterns, or individual shapes such as stars or circles.

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.

In as much as he applied popular Rocco, Chinoiserie and Gothic design motifs to already fashionable shapes for both grand and simple household furniture. Few designs were copied exactly. Chair makers at all levels – London, provincial and country adapted and modified their designs to suit their own skills, and their customers tastes and pockets.

Country versions are instantly identifiable when made in woods other than Mahogany. Often less well proportioned, much simpler in design with splats with little or no carving. The methods employed by London makers of the mid thC. More reproductions have been made of mid thC chairs than any other period. Victorian reproductions were either rather clumsy or with over done ornate carving with thin cabriole legs ending in heavy ball and claw feet. Generally not so refined as the classical 18thC originals.

Bracket and Bun feet are also a useful indicator of a period, when found on Chests of various designs. All types of handle designs were used to decorate further, pieces of furniture such as drawers, doors etc.

Wear and Hardware Shadows – Inspecting Drawers for Clues to Age

Furniture Wood If you have a worn old dresser or rickety heirloom chair on your hands, you may be thinking of refinishing it yourself. Older mass-produced pieces whose origins fall somewhere between and are ideal candidates for refinishing. However, if you have questions about how old your piece is, consult an expert first, says Teri Masaschi , author of Foolproof Wood Finishing: Here are some general guidelines to assessing the age and quality of your piece.

Antique furniture is usually named by the periods of the British Monarchy in which it was made. Here is a list of the dates – Dates.

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.

Antique Furniture Periods and Dating

We look at the design of various types of furniture and furnishings, the interior architecture , as well as materials and techniques, plus some of the main designers. Menuiserie or Ebenisterie During the 16th century furniture was the province of the menuisier who worked in solid wood. The nearest English equivalent to the term is ‘carpenter and joiner’, but this is not entirely satisfactory. At this time the technique of inlaying, extremely fashionable in Italy, was in France the province of the menuisier, but when it was replaced by more sophisticated techniques such as veneering and marquetry in the early years of the 17th century, the most skilled menuisiers became known as ebenistes, a term often translated as ‘cabinet-maker’ which again is not strictly accurate.

The menuisier proper continued to be responsible for seat-furniture, table-supports, such furniture as buffets a kind of cupboard and armoires wardrobes of solid wood, the decorative carved panelling for walls boiseries , door-cases and overdoor mouldings, and window-cases and shutters.

When dating a piece of antique furniture, one of the most important clues to its history is often overlooked. A nail may not be a noticeable style feature, but looking at them carefully can help.

It’s easy to spot an antique by the drawers, because joints weren’t machine-cut until about If it has only a few dovetail joints, with pins narrower than the dovetails, then the joint was made by hand. When you want to refinish old wooden furniture, the best place to look is the family storeroom: Check the attic, basement, garage, or wherever unwanted furniture has collected. You may also discover a real antique or two — pieces handed down through the family for generations.

Other good sources are secondhand stores, household auctions, and garage sales. With furniture, as with anything else, one person’s junk is another another’s treasure.

How to Identify Antique Wooden Furniture

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.

Over the years of working on hundreds of pieces of antique furniture, I’ve developed a quick and fairly accurate system for dating and determining the origin of any piece of furniture containing drawers.

Many are sold before we have a chance to list them. Please email us with your exact request we probably have it or can get it. Click image for more details. This Viking era helmet was found in Central Europe at the turn of the century. It has been conserved to museum standards. Viking men generally would take their weapons to their burial with the belief that they would need them for the after life.

These type of helmets for hundreds of years were super rare. Open and closes as well as the day they were made. It is curently exibited in the Germanic National Museum in Nuremberg. This is a near identical Victorian reproduction that fooled even the experts. You won’t find a better one. Please do not confuse this with contemporary imitations made in India. A great conversation piece, decoration or addition to any collection of medieval period items. Available now, more information to follow.

Antique and Vintage Furniture

Screws are relative newcomers to the production of furniture primarily because they are so hard to make by hand. But as the complexity and sophistication of furniture increased in the late 17th century and the use of brass hardware, locks and concealed hinges became more popular, there was an obvious need for a fastener that could hold two surfaces together without having to penetrate the back surface of the second piece. The screw on the left was handmade in the late 18th century.

Note the flat spot on the shaft, the irregular threads, blunt tip and the off center slot. The screw in the center is machine made around It has sharp, even threads, a cylindrical shape, blunt end and the slot is still off center.

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. 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.

June Treenware The term treen means “of a tree”. It is applied to a variety of non-furniture household objects made of wood. Before the late ‘s, metal utensils and vessels were not widely available. Wood was usually close at hand and people crafted the things they needed out of the most carvable wood they could find. It is very rare to find treenware dating back this far. It was usually discarded when something “better” came along.

Antique Furniture Value Lookup

Preserving Antiques for Future Generations Antique Furniture Guide This antique furniture guide is not about furniture from the Middle Ages – I mean who has such antiques apart from Museums and the ultra rich?? We shall start around the 18th Century – – but the chances of you finding something original from this time are also limited, unless of course you have been lucky enough to inherit – or belong to the ultra rich contingent Join my Online Course here:

The video above provides a great introduction to dating antique furniture and what areas should be examined. Take note of the shape of the screws used to hold the furniture together.

The stylistic techniques used to date formal furniture such as Chippendale and Hepplewhite simply does not work for American country and primitive furniture. Country furniture does have its styles based predominately on religion and region. The catholic French and the Irish built cupboards with bold moldings, cut out feet, raised panels and they painted their cupboards in bright colors.

The puritan New England cabinetmakers built simple unadorned cupboards painted in drab colors. The Shakers are well known for their simple but elegant furniture. Furniture built in the Midwest and the South is different from New England made pieces. The problem with using style to establish the construction date of country and primitive furniture is that regional styles remained unchanged for most of the 19th century.

Unable to use style, dealers and collectors have turned to the telltale signs left on the furniture itself by tools and by construction methods. This system is remarkably accurate to within a ten-year period. During the Industrial Revolution, the method of making nails, screws, hinges, latches, and of milling lumber changed often.

Antique Fairs in Suffolk, Norfolk & Cambridgeshire

By Bob Flexner Pages A while back, my wife and I were visiting friends who wanted to show us their collection of antique furniture. At one point we went into their bedroom and I headed directly for a very old-looking chest-of-drawers. I just wanted to date the piece by how the drawer was made. Construction Drawer construction has changed several times in the last years. Simply pull a drawer out a few inches, glance at the joinery on the side and feel the drawer bottom underneath — essentially a single motion.

In addition, the wood used for the drawer sides and bottoms helps determine whether the furniture is American or European.

Dating antique furniture styles Have a certified date of different furniture cost less than new, adams, furniture and date the tudors, antique. For many different styles would be determined by george nelson help in use today and each type has a certified date of practice.

For What It’s Worth How can you tell the age of a piece of furniture? This is a big topic to tackle and it will not be possible to cover many details in this short column. I’ve included a brief list of references, if you want to begin studying on your own. To determine age, consider the form and function, tool marks, construction techniques, and materials used in the furniture. Check for evidence of age. One thing to determine is the utility of the furniture you’re trying to date. Is it a coffee table or king-size bed?

They weren’t around before the 20th Century. 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.

Antique Furniture Valuations

Value My Stuff makes it easy to get a Antique Furniture valuation. Valuations complete Proin gravida nibh vel velit auctor aliquet. Aenean sollicitudin, lorem quis bibendum auctor, nisi elit consequat ipsum, nec sagittis sem nibh id elit. Duis sed odio sit amet nibh vulputate cursus a sit amet mauris. Morbi accumsan ipsum velit.

Determining the age of antiques is half the fun! Learn 10 specific steps to establishing an accurate age for your antique furniture. A single piece of antique furniture is .

How to Tell Who the Furniture Maker Is on Very Old Furniture When dating a piece of antique furniture, one of the most important clues to its history is often overlooked. A nail may not be a noticeable style feature, but looking at them carefully can help you authenticate the age of a primitive or antique furniture piece before you buy. Like restorers of historical buildings, you can identify the period by the technology used to create the nails and unlock the past of furniture.

Hand-wrought Until the 18th century, nail production methods had not changed for hundreds of years. Iron ore and carbon heated together and then cooled created wrought iron, from which a nail length piece was cut and hammered on four sides to create a point. Hand-wrought nails have tapered but irregular and crooked square shafts. These nails have heads known as rose heads, a faceted and shallow pyramid-shaped design created from four blows of an ironsmith’s hammer.

Cut but Not Perfect Between the end of the 18th and the end of the 19th centuries, nails were cut into shape. In the early part of the period, nail-makers cut them by hand from a sheet of iron.

Antique Furniture : How to Evaluate Antique Furniture