Furniture Detective: Looking closely at brass hardware aids in deciding furniture age

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Antique Sideboards

You’ll also be signed up to receive e-newsletters from Antique Trader and partners. Fred Taylor October 18, One of the most overlooked and least understood clues in establishing the date and authenticity of older and antique furniture is the story that screws can tell about the history of a piece. Screws are relative newcomers to the production of furniture, primarily because they are so hard to make by hand.

Screws weren’t made completely by machine until , according an Antique Trader column by regular contributor Fred Taylor. So if you find a furniture item using screws that have completely rounded shafts, pointed ends, and perfectly finished heads with matching cuts (much like a screw you would purchase today), the piece likely dates to the.

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. The slot in the head may be off-center. New screws have sharp points and regular, evenly spaced threads.

How to Date Antique Furniture

Nails and Wood Screws Jonathan Taylor The use of nails and screws can give an indication of the age of joinery or its fittings and provides a useful insight into a building’s history Reproduction rose-head nails of approximately four inches long: Nails supplied by IJP Building Conservation Hand-Forged Nails Nails were among the first metal objects made by mankind, indispensable or such everyday items as doors and roof coverings, shoes, buckets and barrels.

Early nails were usually square in section and the earliest were individually forged by hand from iron. The head of the nail was formed either by simply turning it over to form an L-shape or by striking a hand-held mould or ‘bore’ over the end of the shank to produce a shaped end such as a ‘rose-head’, a simple four sided pyramid shape. However, being hand-forged, the variety of shapes and forms are infinite.

Furniture Detective: Screws give valuable clues when in search of antique furniture origins By: Fred Taylor | October 18, One of the most overlooked and least understood clues in establishing the date and authenticity of older and antique furniture is the story that screws can tell about the history of a piece.

Please update your billing information in My WorthPoint to reactivate your account! No comments This hand-made screw has obvious signs of its origin. Note the flat spot on the shaft near the head. That is a remnant of the square nail stock. The thread varies is depth and pitch all over the shaft and the shaft has no point. The head is not quite round and the hand cut slot is off center—all signs of hand work. One of the most overlooked and least understood clues in establishing the date and authenticity of older and antique furniture is the story that screws can tell about the history of a piece.

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 handmade nails of the period derived much of their holding power from the ability to drive the nail through two surfaces and bend it over on the back side, i. But that solution would not work for securing the top on a chest of drawers or table top without either driving a nail through the top from above or clinching it on the top to hold it fast. The same problem arose while trying to affix a lock to the back side of a drawer. For a nail to hold it would have had to be driven through the front of the drawer.

The same was true for hinges used under a table leaf.

Furniture Detective: Screws give valuable clues when in search of antique furniture origins

Look for chisels with wooden handles or with specialty, curved blades. Buying Antique Tools Ideally, you’ll be able to find hand tools in person. The quality of a tool, and its usability is difficult to determine remotely. However, there are several reputble antique dealers where you may find just the thing you were looking for: Bob Kaune – An incredibly easy-to-navigate site that sells many types of antique tools including saws, chisels and planes.

American Country Furniture, Folk Art, Paintings & Accessories | Linda Rosen AntiquesCustomer Satisfaction · Large Inventory · Reasonable Prices · Generous Discounts.

Georgian furniture is well designed and built to a high standard, using quality woods such as oak and mahogany, with the use of dovetail joints, clout nails and handmade iron screws. Georgian designs formed a distinct contrast with earlier pieces as a new simplicity was sought after. English examples were mainly plain and simple and followed architectural lines of buildings. Georgian furniture was crafted by hand and solid woods were readily available along with good metal-wear so quality was paramount.

As the British Empire expanded throughout the world, more woods became available and the main change to fashions occurred in the reigns of George 1 and George 11 by the replacement of Walnut with Mahogany Mahogany was imported mainly from Cuba and Honduras , cabinet makers liked the new close grained wood which is much harder and was not prone to wood worm unlike the previous pine and walnuts used in construction.

Mahogany was more suitable for the grander pieces which were in high demand for the new taller buildings, also being a strong timber, it made furniture long lasting and you could achieve a rich dark red colour which was sought after in the period.

How to Identify an Antique Sofa

This post will serve as a bit of a quick upholstery lesson for those who may be interested. It happens quite often that some of our clients are shocked by the fact that a chair or sofa could be stuffed with straw. Most people know about horse hair, but there is a wide range of materials used to stuff upholstered pieces, and the point of this post is to just quickly explain a few of the most common ones.

One of the most overlooked and least understood clues in establishing the date and authenticity of older and antique furniture is the story that screws can tell about the history of a piece.

How to Date Furniture by Casters By Ann Johnson ; Updated April 12, Furniture casters are viewed as a convenience that helps us move furniture so we can vacuum or rearrange the room. Yet, casters sometimes had more to do with lighting than housekeeping or design. Casters were fit on the legs of desks to allow the desk to be moved around the room to capture the changing sunlight throughout the day. Another use for casters is to estimate the date of the furniture. Look to see if the caster is a leathern bowl or roller.

This is one of the earliest forms of casters, indicative of furniture made during the Queen Anne period in the early s.

Re: dating antiques

Since it is impossible for any item to be older than the technology that made it possible, a chronological system of the advancement of cabinetmaking technology can be used to establish construction dates to within a few years. During the Industrial Revolution, the method of making nails, screws, hinges, latches, and of milling lumber changed often. The style of nails changed a dozen times, the hinge changed four times, the screw changed three times, and so did latches and pulls.

The methods of working wood also changed during this time. 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.

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.

Well, that is exactly what many old home magazines have been doing in the recent years. Antique hardware has become not only an interest to the old home restorer, but a major field in collectibles. The historic and aesthetic value of antique hardware was recognized by a group of people in the s, which organized as the Antique Doorknob Collectors of America in , a nonprofit whose purpose is the study and preservation of ornamental hardware.

So, what about the earlier hardware, which a good number of us in the Northeast living in homes dating before might have or had in them? I myself have chosen to live in and restore an early 19th century house and must decide with what I am going to replace the cheap hollow doors with their non-descript brass plated doorknobs installed in the s.

With an acute interest in the early years of our nation, its transition from a colonial economy to an industrial economy and its search for national identity, I have been studying our industrial revolution and early architectural styles. Historically most hardware before the mid th centuries came from England. In fact, it has been claimed that as late as , ninety-five percent of hardware used in America was imported from Europe.

Actually, our early blacksmiths produced very little during and immediately after our Colonial period. Their few existing account books do confirm that they mostly repaired iron items and occasionally made nails and some latches and hinges. The colonies were expected to supply the raw materials i.

How to tell the age of antique furniture

How to Identify an Antique Sofa By Michelle Powell-Smith SAVE Learning how to identify and date an antique sofa can help you find the perfect piece for your period home or simply a personal and unusual touch for a modern room. Antique and vintage sofas share many of the same characteristics as other upholstered pieces, but fewer sofas have survived than side chairs and less-used pieces.

Knowing the key characteristics of antique sofas can also help you avoid reproductions and make sure that the piece you choose for your home is authentic.

Screws were occasionally used in furniture pre-dating the beginning of the machine era (Circa ). Blacksmith forged examples can be identified by inspecting for thin .

Missing just one of these little hinges? They are in very good condition and the perfect finishing touch to that table or chest you are restoring or building. The double flap on one side held on with a screw keeps them from deviating from a precise 90 degree You will receive everything in the picture for the above price. Made of thick cast brass it has a medium patina. The numbers are embossed on the back. Polish as much or as little as you choose..

It attaches with small slotted screws which are included. F These brass escutcheons have never been used and have various levels of patina and oxidizing. They attach with small slotted screws which are included. They attach with small brass pins rather than screws.

Antique Furniture Screws

Antique Furniture These situations are common occurrences for antique collectors, restorers and store owners. It is important for those interested in antique furniture to be aware of the types and styles of hardware used on a specific piece including the material and design. It is also helpful to know where to find original and high quality reproduction hardware for antique furniture. Original Hardware for Antique Furniture There are several types of businesses that carry, and often specialize in, original hardware for antique furniture.

50 Most Popular Antique Screws Products for | HouzzBrands: Top Knobs, ShopLadder, KnobDeco, Anneathome2, Avondale, Amerock Hardware.

It could be a pretty nice Colonial Revival chest or desk or dresser, in excellent condition, that catches your fancy. But is it all original? And does it matter? Whether it matters is a concern for another day. Today the discussion is just on determining the originality of hardware. Since changing or altering hardware is one of the quickest and cheapest ways of improving the look of an otherwise-bland piece, the pulls are always suspect, especially if they look really good.

Early 18th century hardware was cast from molten brass using molds made of sand. The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the faces were polished. Around the middle of the 18th century the customary blend of copper and zinc was changed to include more copper, giving the alloy more of a reddish cast than the pale yellow brass used for hardware earlier in the century.

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Stubby screwdrivers, different sizes and configurations Tack lifter, wide putty knife, sharp knife and long nose pliers Rare earth magnet, writing utensils and pad Envelopes or very small plastic bags for any samples

Business of Doing Business System for Dating Country and Primitive Furniture, Part One System for Dating Country & Primitive Furniture, Part1 The Business of Doing Business in Antiques – The Journal of Antiques and Collectibles – July furniture, hinges, nails, screws.

Your guide to antique pottery marks, porcelain marks and china marks Dating Antique Clocks Tips to help you estimate the age and date of your antique clock. Dating Antique Clocks can be an exact science providing you have the right reference books and the proper experience. Like knowing when certain features were introduced or certain materials became available. A few simple things that can point you in the right direction and at the correct period for your antique wall clock, advertising clock or bracket clock.

The construction of various parts can and will help in dating your antique clock. Specifically the style and type of clock hand and the dial, both of which have varied over time. Even the type of material used to construct your antique clock movement can help, or discovering when chimes were introduced and the type of chime used. It provided a safe alternative to the hazardous use of mercury in gilding metals, which was banned c The first American patent issued for a calendar movement was in Up until then hand cast and finished brass movements were very expensive.

Adamantine celluloid veneer was patented in

Clues to Dating Antiques #3