Drawers Date Furniture
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. Later, machine did the cutting, but nails were still made one at a time. The shaft of each exhibits cutting marks where the nail is stamped out of a sheet of iron in much the same manner as a cookie cutter.
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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.
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.
But keep in mind that there are lots of exceptions to these rules, so err on the side of caution. Hand-cut dovetails can date an older American piece to before , although hobbyists and specialty makers still use them. Hand dovetails are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered. Wider, uniform machine-cut dovetails were common in factory-made pieces from until the modern era.
Hand dovetails pictured below, top piece are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered. Wider, uniform machine-cut dovetails pictured below, bottom piece were common in factory-made pieces from until the modern era.
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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. The earliest surviving carpet, the Pazyryk Carpet was discovered in a frozen tomb in Siberia and has been dated between the 6th and 3rd century BC.
Ancient Egypt[ edit ] Civilisation in ancient Egypt began with the clearance and irrigation of land along the banks of the River Nile ,  which began in about BC. By that time, society in the Nile Valley was already engaged in organized agriculture and the construction of large buildings. Mortar was in use by around BC.
The inhabitants of the Nile Valley and delta were self-sufficient and were raising barley and emmer an early variety of wheat and stored it in pits lined with reed mats. The use of scarf joints to join two shorter pieces together and form a longer beam was one example of this,  as well as construction of veneers in which low quality cheap wood was used as the main building material, with a thin layer of expensive wood on the surface. In the last few centuries Rome gradually superseded Greece as the foremost culture of Europe, leading eventually to Greece becoming a province of Rome in BC.
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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. 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, you might have some clues to follow. Pit saws, used from roughly the s to , left irregular, slanted, deep rough marks.
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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.
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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. In the same tomb was a folding wooden bed with bronze hinges. Instead of pillows, wooden or ivory headrests were used. These were so essentially individual, being made to the measure of the owner, that they were often placed in tombs to be used by the dead man on his arrival in the land of eternity.
Folding headrests were probably for the use of travellers.
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Search new window Printout For best results save the whole page pictures included onto your hard disk, open the page with Word 97 or higher, edit if necessary and print. The majority of Egyptians did not have many belongings that had to be hidden away , so a chest or two or a few baskets would furnish plenty of storing space. Tables were rarely used.
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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.
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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.
Shipping furniture can be a costly proposition. To reduce these costs, search in local antique dealers and check other sellers who will provide a complete wrap and ship service. There are several ways you can identify an antique furniture item.