Dating antique dressers

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  1. How to Identify Antique Wooden Furniture: Tips | HowStuffWorks
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  3. Drawers Date Furniture
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Become aware of what to look for, and develop a trained eye. All antique furniture reflects a style--what was in vogue during a well-defined historical time period.

Make a checklist of what to look for if you are in the market for an antique dresser. Identify the style to judge the approximate date of a dresser.

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How to Identify Antique Wooden Furniture: Tips | HowStuffWorks

A general knowledge of furniture styles throughout history is important for estimating the time period in which a dresser was made. A dresser is of a certain style if most of its features represent what was popular during a time period. Study the color and texture of the wood. A genuine antique dresser will have a patina. This is a natural mellowness attained with age and use. The tendency is for the shade of natural wood to darken. The color also will vary on antique furniture.


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To avoid being fooled by forgers and fakes, check the dresser's out-of-sight areas, such as its back and side edges that would be placed against walls. From the mid 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century a series of experimental, machine made drawer joints appeared, including the Knapp joint and the finger joint but the winner was the machine made dovetail joint.

This machine made joint features a series of identical dovetails cut in the drawer front and side and the cuts run the entire depth of the drawer side. So what does all this tell us about the age of a piece? If we find a handmade dovetail joint with only one or two dovetails does it mean we found an early 18th century piece? A good craftsman can still be found to make hand made joints.

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It means that we have motivation to keep looking for other clues to confirm a date. On the other hand, if we find a machine made dovetail joint we know with pretty good assurance that it was made in the 20th century and our search for antiquity is over. Send your comments, questions and pictures to Fred Taylor, P.

Box , Crystal River, FL or info furnituredetective.

Drawers Date Furniture

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