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Showroom - Frequently Asked Questions. 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. For thousands of years, a dovetail joint was created by a skilled cabinetmaker using small, precision saws and wood chisels.

Schwartz is an upholstery guide that can help you decipher the styles that align with furniture periods. Closely review the screws.

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Screws were not made completely by machine until 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 todaythe piece likely dates to the midth century or later. Screws made from about through the mids were partially machine-made giving the threading a more even appearance.

But the heads were still finished with hacksaws to add the groove to fit a screwdriver, so no two are exactly alike.

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The first screws were crafted during the s by blacksmiths using square nail stock that was heated and pounded until it was somewhat round. The tips were blunt and each one was unique.

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If you find these hand-finished screws in furniture, investigate other cts of the pieces to see if they appear to match the screws in age. One similarly-dated element is brass hardware. Early 18th-century hardware was cast from molten brass using molds made of sand. This hardware often has inclusions or marks left behind by grains of sand or odd colors from impurities.

The backs of the hardware were often left with these pockmarks, while the outward-facing surfaces were polished.

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Early 19th-century brass also has a rough texture, finish, and threading. From the s up until the Eastlake period during the s, brass hardware fell out of favor in furniture manufacture and was sparsely used.

If you have a piece with brass, it's most likely pres or a revival piece from the late s on. Read More. Examine these parts carefully; slight differences in size or shape are not always easy to spot. A real antique is very rarely perfectly cut; a reproduction with the same components will be because a machine will have cut it. The finish on the wood can also date the piece. Until Victorian times, shellac was the only clear surface finish; lacquer and varnish were not developed until the mids.

The finish on furniture, made beforeis usually shellac; if the piece is very old, it may be oil, wax, or milk paint. Fine old works are often French-polished, a variation of the shellac finish.

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A lacquer or varnish finish is a sure sign of later manufacture. If the piece is painted, test it with ammonia; older pieces may be finished with milk paint, which can be removed only with ammonia.

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If the piece of furniture is dirty or encrusted with wax, clean it first with a mixture of denatured alcohol, white vinegar, and kerosene, in equal parts. The type of wood is the final clue.

Use the Screws to Help Identify the Age of Your Furniture. Posted by: Fred Taylor on 28th Mar 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. Fred Taylor is a antique furniture Worthologist who.

Very early furniture, from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the eighteenth century, is mostly oakbut since the end of the seventeenth century, other woods as walnut and mahogany became the preferred choice among the cabinet makers. Around the s they came to recognise the better properties of the walnutwhich dense grain allowed for lighter and finer shapes of the furniture, and quickly turned into a most fashionable material.

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However, in the early eighteenth century, the walnuts in central Europe were nearly extinguished by a frosty winter and its numbers were significantly reduced. Meanwhile in s mahogany became increasingly popular after it was introduced to England, imported from the British colonies in Honduras and the West Indies.

The walnuts quickly became almost entirely superseded by the exotic newcomer, which remained the favourite choice for the next century, especially in England and America. The threads are cut evenly and they pitch at a different angle than those of the handmade screw.

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The first machine made screw dates to The first machine made screw with a machine cut slot in its head dates to Click here to view part two of this article. Re: article july 3 regarding dating primitive furniture.


I frequently see pointed screws on English furniture and small pieces. Does this necessarily mean that the item was made after ?

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. We carry a large selection of both, antique brass or antique copper. The antiqued hardware is constructed from brass, stamped brass, cast brass or steel. No need to use chemicals or wait for years to achieve a beautiful patina, simply order and install. Antiqued replacement hardware can give a vintage look to any modern furniture or cabinetry. If you are trying to determine the age of a piece of American antique furniture, it will require investigative closely at the the different elements that make the piece of furniture. Examine the level of work that went into the furniture from the joinery, finishing, knobs, and more.

Or was a pointed screw available in Europe esp. UK before ?

Knobs, Latches, and Levers

Thanks for any help. I have been perplexed by this for years. You must be logged in to post a comment.

Antique American. Antique English. Antique Lamps & Lighting. Furniture Styles. Modern/Mid-Century. Holt-Howard warms the nostalgic holiday heart. By Paul Kennedy. Rago's Remix features silver, period furnishings. By Antique Trader Antiques Auction News. The handmade antiques conundrum. Use more brainpower when moving. May 09,   Handles Used on Antique Furniture. The History of Antique Furniture; The types of handles used on antique furniture changed throughout history, mainly because of materials that was available, more skilful methods developed to create them and due to ever changing fashions. Identifying Antique Furniture or Good Reproductions. When trying to identify antique furniture, dedicated antique hunters search for beautifully preserved pieces, armed with pins, magnifying glasses, spirit levels and all sorts of testing equipment.

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Dovetail vs. Peg Construction in Antique Furniture : Antique Furniture Care

Log in Remember me. Lost your password? This hinge dates to about The hinge in the middle is thinner and was removed from a cupboard made about The hinge on the right is a modern hinge.

It was removed from a house when the kitchen cabinets were undated. The hinge dates to Stamped steel hinges began to appear in I began collecting up and down, pit, bolt, and early circular saws to study saw construction and the marks each type of saw left on the wood it cut. The four saws on the left are waterwheel powered up and down saws. The circular saw was used to cut clapboards before Modern circular saws spin fast and cut very little wood on each revolution.

Jul 03,   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. Jan 05,   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 Timothy Dahl. Jan 23,   First, a word about locks-those mostly invisible mechanisms operated by knobs, latches, and levers. Along with simple latches, rim locks or box locks that mount onto the surface of the door were the primary locks seen on houses from the early 18th century to about

The next three saws are bolt saws used by some mills to square both ends of a log before cutting boards. The three saws on the right are two-man powered pit saws used to handsaw logs into boards.

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The tall pit saw was used in a shipyard as a large jigsaw to shape timber for ship construction. For the purpose of scale and size, my garage is eight feet - six inches tall.

Guess What? June Carter Bays says: Re: article july 3 regarding dating primitive furniture.

December 8, at pm Log in to Reply. June 18, at pm Log in to Reply. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment.

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