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Initially Beard Watson focused on the retail of carpets, floor coverings and furnishing fabrics from its premises at George Street. However, in the company broadened its scope when it acquired the business of quality furniture manufacturer Walker, Sons and Bartholomew. Shortly after this date, it appears that William Beard and James Watson left the business. Furniture became a central feature of Beard Watson's business in the early decades of the 20th century, demonstrated by a series of catalogues produced in this period. By the early s, Beard Watson had diversified beyond furniture, floor coverings and furnishing fabrics into glassware, china, household linen and kitchenware. A gift catalogue TC

Look at the bottom or back of a piece or inside its doors and drawers.

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This can provide important clues about whether a piece of old furniture was machine cut or crafted by hand. Most handmade pieces will have some irregularities on the surface like minor nicks that were made by a hand plane being used to smooth out the wood. These nicks are sometimes even more evident on the back than on the finished, front surface. If the work looks too even or perfect, it was likely machine-made or machine-cut.

Most machine-made pieces date to after the Industrial Revolution after Small matching elements on furniture, such as wooden drawer knobs, chair spindles, or feet on a variety of objects, may have slight differences in the shape.

This can mean that they were handcrafted prior to Machine-made furniture will have components that match more perfectly than those made by hand.

When hand planes were used to smooth woods, they usually left some sort of uneven surface. This is especially evident on the back or underside of pieces made prior to the mids. Hand chisels and wood-shaping tools operated with elbow grease left cuts and nicks in the wood. In comparison, manually operated hand saws left a straighter pattern.

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A handcrafted furniture piece does not set it in time as an antique. Furniture is still being crafted by hand today.

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However, machine-made evidence does give you a better picture of when the piece of furniture could not be from.

It can be difficult distinguishing the type of wood or finish used on a furniture piece, but these are important clues. Certain types of woods were favored during different furniture periods.

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For example, oak was primarily used in furniture made prior to Aftermahogany and walnut were very popular. Moving into the s, maple and cherry showed up in fine furniture manufacture quite often. Many Victorian furniture manufacturers used mahogany and rosewood through the late s.

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Then, aroun oak became popular again. The type of wood used is not an exact indicator of age, but when you tie in the other factors like style and construction technique, you start to get a better idea of the date of the piece.

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Original upholstery materials like silk, wool, or cotton were spun and woven into a variety of damasks, satins, and brocades with many different patterns. A wide variety of materials and fabric designs were favored for upholstery during different periods. I will pass it onto our Ask A Libraian service and a staff member will get back to you.

I came across the site while trying to decipher a stamp on the inside of a draw belonging to a large bedside cabinet. My Internet searching has gone nowhere. I am aware of Fred Ward, but most of the furniture I see is mid-century or post-war.

This item looks to be early s to me, or maybe s? Sides are maple-faced ply as is the centre of the cupboard door. The piece is bow-fronted, with a curved drawer. Very unusual.

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. 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 more than a collection of nails, boards, and wood stain. Antique furnishings can tell a story one that may only exist in the imagination of the lucky person acquiring the piece. Sep 11,   It would also be worth checking one of the standard reference works on Australian furniture, "Australian furniture: pictorial history and dictionary, - " by Kevin Fahy, Andrew Simpson, published in It is available at larger research libraries in all states of Australia.

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated! I found references on Trove to a furniture manufacture, William Ward, who died in He had a business in the city. The Final CallAugust Record Emerald Hill, Vic. The Herald Melbourne, Vic.

How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture

Thanks so much Tim. That must be it.

Victorian Furniture Pricing - Antiques with Gary Stover

The terminus ante quem of makes sense to me. I reckon my item is s or very early s. Actually starting to think more later s. I have a dressing table bredroom drawers with mirror. It says K. Elliot Gardiner. European labour only. Have never been able to find out anything. It has been in the family for many years, cheers.

Hello Diana, We will look into this for you and reply to your email address. Furniture Manufactorer W. Hi there, I recently found a gorgeous Queen Anne type dresser on the side of the road. Bourke street Melbourne. Do you have any idea of when this company stopped making furniture? Thank you! It has a stamp inside one of the drawers.

Thanks for your enquiry Belinda. Hello, We have an old family piece which is a small sideboard with mirror. It seems well made but crudely carved.

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Any info would be great as hubby was thinking of adding to our bonfire. Would it be worth restoring? Hi Lia, Thanks for your enquiry. You should be able to track the existence of the Louey May by looking at these. Hi there I purchased a lovely lead light cupboard from a third owner who says the piece is from s. The stamp is very blurry but I can only read European labour only. Any chance you could share your email address so I can send you a pic of the stamp?

Maybe you could decipher the wording? Hi, You can use the online enquiry form- and attach an image once you have entered the question details. Hi just looking for information about a dining room table and chairs the chairs are green vinyl got a stamp on it European labour only and number A salmon and craft product.

Tips & Advice on Identifying Antique Furniture

Hope someone can help me out. Hi Gillian, Thanks for your enquiry. Unfortunately, we are not aware of a way to search for information purely by the serial or design numbers of furniture.

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. 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. A article in The Australian Manufacturer stated of Beard Watson that the "furniture it sells, and particularly the furniture it produces, is distinguished at once for its good workmanship and for its artistic beauty." At this time, the factory in the inner-Sydney suburb of Redfern employed more than workers in all areas of furniture.

However, while the Library is closed our copy of this work is not accessible. If you are able to identify the manufacturer through other means and they are Victorian, then the Library has a number of resources that can assist in tracing the history of this business, such as the Sands and Mcdougall directories.

You can also access all the directories fordigitised by the University of Melbourne. Your email address will not be published.

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Lucia, Qld. Tags: Chinese Australians - labor - labour. All posts by Tim. This article has 61 comments Lia January 13, at Jon May 13, at Tim Hogan January 13, at Thanks for the comment and link to article Lia.

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Tim Hogan, State Library of Victoria. Syd Thrush May 22, at Karen Scanlon July 5, at William R McCormack January 25, at Lee August 4, at Sarah Matthews August 5, at Zana August 8, at Sarah Matthews August 8, at Deborah Marton November 16, at Helen Hood September 22, at Richard stafford October 9, at Tim October 10, at Charlie Stonehouse November 7, at Tim November 8, at Trudi Burns December 1, at Tim January 3, at Carolyn February 25, at Isabel Fox January 1, at Hello Isabel Thanks you for your inquiry.

Hope this is useful. Toni Thomson January 7, at Alan April 22, at Rebs February 24, at R Braiuka June 12, at Vicki July 21, at Tim July 21, at Hi Vicki, We have been asked about this A9 code previously. Thanks vicki s or very early Leonie August 27, at Paul August 29, at Susan Wemyss November 24, at Teresa Tchernegovski January 13, at Paul January 15, at Hi Teresa, Thanks for your question.

A librarian will get back to you soon. Damian April 10, at Bill April 30, at Thanks for this article. Liora May 21, at Katie Flack May 21, at Hi Liora, Thanks for your comment. There may be two ways to do this: 1 Figure out when the factory operated this could help narrow down a date of construction 2 Figure out how long Australian Furniture Standard no. Diana May 16, at Paul May 17, at Michael Charles December 17, at Paul December 18, at Thanks for your comment Michael. Michael Charles December 18, at Tim December 18, at Christine Brine January 5, at Diana January 14, at Interested in the history so any info will be gratefully received.

Dating australian antique furniture

Marlene January 27, at I have an ebony pedestal which is stamped - Furniture Manufactorer W. Thank you. Paul January 31, at Hi Marlene, A librarian will have a look at your enquiry and be in touch shortly, Thanks for reading Paul.

Ailish March 28, at Tim March 30, at Hi, thanks for your comments. We will have look and see if we can find out for you. Belinda April 7, at Paul April 8, at Lia July 14, at Paul July 22, at Zurwa September 13, at Paul September 18, at

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