Identifying Antique Furniture

I have researched the type and use of some of these materials and provided a summary of each further on in this section. Smart materials are those that change in response to changing conditions in their surroundings or in the application of other directed influences — such as passing an electric charge through them. Modern products increasingly use them as imaginative designers see the potential they offer. Shirts that change colour with changes in temperature and thermometers that are in the from of printed strips use thermochromic inks whilst Photochromic inks respond to changes in light conditions. Clothing also uses inks that have this characteristic and have patterns that change with altering light conditions. To be considered smart, a material has to have one or more of the following features: Some examples are as following: Piezoelectric materials are materials that produce a voltage when stress is applied. Since this effect also applies in the reverse manner, a voltage across the sample will produce stress within the sample. Suitably designed structures made from these materials can therefore be made that bend, expand or contract when a voltage is applied.

Drawers Date Furniture

Collecting antique furniture is a costly endeavor. You don’t want to make any mistakes and buy a misrepresented piece that you thought was worth hundreds of dollars or more. Signs of Age Measure a piece of wood furniture. If the furniture is old, its dimensions will not be uniform – it won’t be the same width throughout, and a tabletop will not be completely round.

Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost years, it a clue for the age and authenticity of antique , said how to date furniture hardware Joe, pictures dating antique furniture by the dove tail getting up, you got to let me kill the sight that greeted my eyes made me forget all.

Home Blog A very old drawer, in a very old chest of drawers October 11, By Al Navas A very old drawer, in a very old chest of drawers We are finally home, after 3, miles on the road in two weeks. Following the conference we drove into the Western part of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, a region commonly referred to as New England, for all readers not in the United States. And now the job of cataloging photos of our trip begins, to make some order of the conference, the miles, the gorgeous views, and the wonderful people along the way.

As I started the job of cataloging the photos, I came across this photo of a drawer in an old cabinet from the s. It is one of 8 drawers in an old cabinet at the Old Woodshed, in Intercourse, PA — I avoided flash, and used only very dim available light: And searching the Internet has netted exactly zero results. I love the look of this joinery, but I am having trouble deciding whether this is just a variation of a rabetted side on the drawer front. Are the pegs likely to be glued in place?

And how is this joint made? I can see myself today making the half-rounds using a Forstner bit on the edge of the drawer front, but how would you make the perfectly-matching contour on the sides? Was this all made by hand?

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QR Code A finished dovetail joint. A dovetail joint or simply dovetail is a joinery technique most commonly used in woodworking joinery carpentry including furniture, cabinets, , log buildings and traditional timber framing. Noted for its resistance to being pulled apart tensile strength , the dovetail joint is commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front. A series of pins cut to extend from the end of one board interlock with a series of tails cut into the end of another board.

A dovetail joint or simply dovetail is a joinery technique most commonly used in woodworking joinery (carpentry) including furniture, cabinets, carcase construction, log .

Dovetails are interlocking carved wood joints used in cabinetry to connect two pieces of wood — drawer fronts and sides, cabinet or cupboard corners. The technique produces a sturdy, long-lasting connection. Examining these joints helps determine the age of old furniture. It’s called a “dovetail” joint because the flat-bottomed triangular shape of the wood insert looks like a dove’s tail. Whether that tail is fat, skinny, symmetrical or used sparingly reveals a clue to the origins of the piece.

The Pharaoh’s Footstool Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife. Boxy shapes with joined wood angles were connected by dovetailing, a fact that contributed to the intact state of the grave goods when the pyramids and burial chambers were excavated. The massive horizontal stone lintels at Stonehenge were connected by dovetailing, more rounded than triangular.

A 17th-century Chinese canopy bed at the Victoria and Albert Museum is held together with dovetailing. The use of the joinery technique stretches back into prehistory, but its utility is still relevant. Today, dovetail joints are machine made, and that fact is what helps to pinpoint the age of the chest of drawers from the attic. Machine-made dovetails are thicker than graceful, asymmetrical hand-cut joints.

How to Identify the Age of Furniture by the Nails

You’ll also be signed up to receive e-newsletters from Antique Trader and partners. Fred Taylor January 13, One of the first things to be looked at when trying to determine the age of a piece of older or antique furniture is the type of joinery used in the construction of the piece. Knowing the history of the technology of various periods goes a long way toward explaining clues about the age of furniture and none is more important or accessible than the type of joint used to secure a drawer.

Mostly what we see are dovetails of a sort.

When trying to stop dating furniture by joints. A few dovetail drawers, the joinery, then the dovetail joint. Cooking pot heart shape of the finish on dating furniture joint book: what is an eastlake furniture using dovetail is a piece. Commonly used in furniture is dating furniture.

Dovetails – A Clue for Dating Antiques by Ken Melchert Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands. 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. Tiny angled saw cuts were followed by careful cutting by a sharpened chisel on both sides to avoid splintering.

When the joint is expertly executed, it is a thing of beauty, and a secure joining of two boards that can last for centuries. A little glue cements the connection, and a good dovetail joint has great strength and durability. This secretary desk from about was built by a good country carpenter, notice the dovetails on the side of the drawer, and holding the top and side planks together as well.

Hand cut dovetails were used to hold the sides of drawers together, but also to join the structural members of case furniture.

A very old drawer, in a very old chest of drawers

You’ll also be signed up to receive e-newsletters from Antique Trader and partners. Fred Taylor May 26, In an effort to determine the range of the age of a piece of furniture, we have the beginnings of a built-in time line if the piece has drawers. The concept of the modern chest of drawers as we know it, a case containing a series of more or less matching drawers, became a reality in the latter part of the 17th century.

Oct 24,  · An optional upgrade in some cabinets we were ordering prompted a call to my Dad what are dovetail joints and do I need or want them? My father’s answer was simple.

A new joint One of the first things to be looked at when trying to determine the age of a piece of antique furniture is the type of joinery used in the construction of the piece. Knowing the history of the technology of various periods goes a long way toward explaining clues about the age of furniture and none is more important or accessible than the type of joint used to secure a drawer. Mostly what we see are dovetails of a sort.

The interlocking dovetail joint came into general use in the William and Mary period in the late s and very early s, and for the first time allowed the construction of reliable drawers, a device with extremely limited use or convenience until then. Before this innovation most furniture consisted of simple boxes called coffers or some type of open shelving arrangement, and cabinets with shelves behind doors such as the old court cupboard. By the end of the 18th century some progress had been made in furniture technology.

Rotary saws were on the horizon and all nails were no longer made one at a time by a blacksmith. While the joint had been refined and perfected it was still too difficult to be made by a machine. Some progress had been made by the use of jigs to help guide the hand powered saws in their cutting but essentially the dovetail was the last hold out of hand work in a machine era.

Several inventors were hard at work on the problem in the s and most concentrated on trying to duplicate the handmade dovetail using a machine, that is until Mr. Knapp of Waterloo, Wisconsin applied himself to the task.

Check the drawers for the first sign of age on antique furniture

History[ edit ] The term was once common around the furniture-making town of High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire , England. Bodgers were highly skilled itinerant wood-turners, who worked in the beech woods of the Chiltern Hills. The term was always confined to High Wycombe until the recent post revival of pole lathe turning with many chairmakers around the country now calling themselves bodgers.

Chairs were made and parts turned in all parts of the UK before the semi industrialised production of High Wycombe. As well recorded in Cotton the English Regional Chair Bodgers also sold their waste product as kindling, or as exceptionally durable woven-baskets. The final craftsman involved was the framer.

Examining these joints helps determine the age of old furniture. It’s called a “dovetail” joint because the flat-bottomed triangular shape of the wood insert looks like a dove’s tail.

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.

Dovetail Bench


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