Dating old furniture

Antique furnishings can tell a story one that may only exist in the imagination of the lucky person acquiring the piece.Some popular antiques are quite well documented and may be tied to a specific time period in history making an age determination quite simple. Adding to the complexity is the proliferation of copycat builders and modern furniture craftsmen who do an admirable job of cloning authentic antique furniture right down to the tool marks and date stamps.Oak, mahogany, cherry, and walnut are all popular hardwoods that have been used in antique furniture.But, it is important to determine which type of wood is most prevalent in your antique to help determine the age.Until then, following these steps will help you determine an approximate age of nearly any piece of antique furniture: These less obvious areas of the antique will provide clues as to whether the wooden components were cut using traditional methods like handsaws and planes, or whether the pieces were crafted using modern power tools.If rough surfaces, plane scrapes, and tool marks are evident inside the piece of furniture, or on the back or bottom surfaces, you're probably looking at a pre-1860 model.Determining the age of antique furniture is the first step in establishing a proper valuation, as well as verifying that the piece is indeed an authentic furnishing from the era in question.

In fact, screws in general didn't really come into vogue until the turn of the 20th century.

Many fakes list a full address for the builder, including 5-digit zip codes.

The problem is, 5-digit zip codes have only been around for about fifty years!

Oak enjoyed another 100 years of popularity from 1900 to the turn of the 21st century.

Keep in mind, wood components can be replaced and this may affect your ability to determine the exact age of a piece.

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