How to Date Furniture by Casters
The massive horizontal stone lintels at Stonehenge were connected by dovetailing, icebreakers dating more rounded than triangular. Sheep Collection purchases are excluded. This is sometimes called a drake foot. It wasn't until this time that sophisticated jigs and cutters were built to automate this process. How to Identify Furniture of the s by Its Dovetailing.
It is bulb-shaped with a slender neck, usually has a ring on top, and bulges outward before tapering down into a round collar or base. Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife. If you think that you have something really valuable on hand, or you just want to make sure that you have the best estimate as to the age of an antique hire an expert! They typically end in spade feet or no feet. The ball foot is one of the earliest, most basic types of furniture foot styles.
Possibly, you have a Federal or American Empire piece. Look for authentically worn or distressed stamps or manufacturer burn marks. 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. But fine cabinetmakers persisted in fitting their joints by hand until the early s, and cabinetmakers in Europe cut dovetails by hand well into the s. Examples featuring a metal claw gripping a glass ball are also common, dates especially in occasional tables and stools.
Real lacquer changes color after time. It is basically a more squat version of a ball foot, flattened slightly on top and wider at the bottom. The strength of the joint is the reason for its long popularity. This is a rounded, turned furniture foot style in a variation of the bun foot.
For example, if the joints don't match up and the piece looks shoddily assembled, it's most likely a reproduction. This foot type has been popular almost continuously, in variations, since it was introduced in the s. It was especially popular in ornate Regency, Empire and Biedermeier styles. The Pharaoh's Footstool Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife.
Know Your Furniture Leg Styles
Short and squat examples usually decorate heavy case pieces while more slender examples can be used on chairs as shown. Chairs with exaggerated proportions, winged splats, shell motifs, and trifid feet were all characteristic of the sophisticated furniture made in colonial Philadelphia. This is a type of turned foot, consisting of a rounded saucer-shaped top with larger turning in the middle that then narrows to a smaller turned end.
Types of Feet and Legs on Antique Furniture - Antiques World
How to Date Old Chairs
Combining this dating process with several other techniques will help you make an accurate age determination. Examining these joints helps determine the age of old furniture. Reproductions Antique furniture styles are still in use today and many reproductions exist. The most expensive antique furniture piece sold in recent years was a Badminton cabinet that was crafted during the Medici years in Florence.
Oak is highly popular in furniture that dates from to earlier years. Antique furniture styles are still in use today and many reproductions exist. This type of furniture leg, in which a series of rounded ridges or grooves are carved vertically at regular intervals, is modeled after ancient Greek and Roman motifs.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. This furniture foot style consists of a tapered cylinder that is separated from the leg by a turned ring. Sometimes it is referenced as a console leg.
In the late s, scalloped dovetails were the rage, but the trend shifted back to the classic triangular shape after a few years. 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. Style Sometimes style is enough to tell how old a chair is, especially if that style was only popular for a short time. Feet and chair spindles were also carved individually, so there is no way each one could possibly look identical. These are usually found on a chair, stool, or sofa.
These are similar to fluted legs, except that the reeds are convex as opposed to concave. Spider legs are delicate, thin curved legs, usually extending below a round table top in a group of three or four. Spider legs can also be slim, straight legs found on gatefold tables. Dovetails have long been a popular method for attaching two pieces of wood at a degree angle often seen in drawer construction.
This is a type of turned furniture leg, fairly thick with multiple curves, flares upward and outward from a narrow base to actually resemble an upturned trumpet. It has been widely used since then. Sometimes style is enough to tell how old a chair is, especially if that style was only popular for a short time.
The spade foot style has a rectangular shape that is wide at the top tapering to a narrower base. Antique furnishings can tell a story one that may only exist in the imagination of the lucky person acquiring the piece. The style never caught on outside North American and was gradually abandoned in favor of the classic dovetail.
It was also free, in societies where hand-forged screws or nails were luxuries that might rust, expand and split your bedpost, tabletop or chest of drawers. This type of turned furniture foot, separated from the leg by a ring, is basically cylindrical in shape although it swells out slightly and then tapers down to a plain point. Sometimes referred to as a spool foot. For example, a chair that is supposedly original, unrefinished and from the s should not smell like fresh varnish or upholstery. 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. One of the most basic furniture foot examples, this style named for its actual resemblance to a bracket. Leg styles are key not only to the appearance and functionality of pieces, but they can also be used to successfully identify many types of antique furniture.
Know Your Furniture Leg Styles
Types of Feet and Legs on Antique Furniture
Identifying Antique Furniture Foot Styles
How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture. Lacquer has been applied to wood furniture for centuries, and if the piece you're inspecting claims to have the original finish, you may be able to date the piece quite easily. The saber style is a type of splayed furniture leg flaring out in a concave shape like a saber or curved sword.
The Marlborough leg typically terminates in a block foot, though can be footless as well. It is usually plain, even if the attached leg is fluted as shown in this example. Crawford has a degree in theater, is a certified Prana Yoga instructor, and writes about fitness, performing and decorative arts, culture, sports, business and education.
- Manufacturers have been stamping their wares for centuries.
- This extremely old style of furniture leg resembles a twisted rope.
- This is one of the quickest and most definitive ways to accurately determine the age of an antique piece of furniture.
- That is what makes this field so exciting for newcomers and veterans alike.
- Chairs as we know them have been around since at least the s.
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- That said, it is important to realize that skilled craftsmen are building furniture by hand even today so you'll want to continue to investigate the age of the piece using at least one other method.
- Some popular antiques are quite well documented and may be tied to a specific time period in history making an age determination quite simple.
Fabric that is original on your antique can provide serious clues of its age. Sometimes referenced as a melon foot. It is sometimes called a knurl toe. Keep in mind, statistics dating wood components can be replaced and this may affect your ability to determine the exact age of a piece.
Whether that tail is fat, skinny, symmetrical or used sparingly reveals a clue to the origins of the piece. This is a straight, square, substantial furniture leg that is usually plain, but sometimes has fluted carving. Once lacquer hits the century mark it tends to turn quite dark. An analysis of glue remnants could be the key to precisely defining the age of a hand-cut dovetailed antique.