Dating antique furniture dovetails
Mortise and tenon joints were also used in the 18th and early 19th Centuries. On the other hand, hand forged nails and screws with off-center slots and uneven threads can be taken from older furniture and used in a piece made yesterday. Learn to recognize the elements of different furniture styles.
The use of square or oblong wooden pins that held in place by the shrinking of the wood was another joinery technique of that time. If you find a piece of furniture that seems to combine several styles, it is most probably not a period piece, but a later reproduction. Are all the parts original, or have there been replacements and repairs? Since wood is an organic material, it shrinks across the grain with age.
This one has limited application but can be a life saver in some situations.
Also check to see if the hardware has been replaced: usually there will be marks or holes on the wood around the hardware.
We hope that we’ve answered your questions, but if anything is lacking, please feel free to post in the comments section below!
To determine age, consider the form and function, tool marks, construction techniques, and materials used in the furniture. Pit saws, used from roughly the 1600s to 1750, left irregular, slanted, deep rough marks.
This is a common enough question, but basically there is a standard set of elements to consider when determining whether or not your furniture is antique.
Many people make the mistake of looking at one or two details while neglecting the rest, but judging antique furniture is a lot like judging a painting: look at the details, but also take in an overall perspective.
Game or card tables did not exist in great numbers until the end of the 17th Century.