How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture Look Past the Style of a Piece. Examine Bottoms, Insides, and Backs. Check for Perfectly Matching Elements. Try to Figure Out What Tools Were Used. Look at the Wood and Upholstery Fabric. Investigate the Screws and Other Hardware.
But the style developed into a very thin, precise and fragile-looking joint. In the late 1890s, scalloped dovetails were the rage, but the trend shifted back to the classic triangular shape after a few years. Hand-cut dovetailing was the default until 1860 when uniform machine-cut joints were introduced.
Dovetail drawers provide the homeowner with the strongest drawer joints, ensuring the drawer won’t come apart even when used every day. They are a good choice for closets and kitchens, because of the heavy use placed on drawers in these applications.
Dovetail refers to a type of joint in which two pieces of wood interlock. Joints that have been dovetailed are extremely strong and secure. They are usually used to construct drawers. Dovetail drawers are recognized by their distinct pattern at the outside corner of a drawer.
Here’s how to find out if your old furniture is vintage or financially valuable . Trace Back the Furniture’s Owners. Determine the Age of Your Furniture . Consider the Rarity of Your Vintage Furniture . Check for Vintage Furniture Quality. Look for Vintage Furniture in Good Condition.
Look carefully at the bottom, sides, and back of the drawer; if the wood shows nicks or cuts, it was probably cut with a plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife. Straight saw marks also indicate an old piece. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, it was cut by a circular saw, not in use until about 1860.
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 Knapp Joint , also known as Pin & Cove, Pin & Scallop and Half Moon, is a visually unique style of antique joinery. The Knapp is a very strong form of drawer joinery but was only utilized from 1870 until about 1900, when it basically fell completely out of use.
In England, the ball-and- claw style of foot was used primarily during the Queen Anne period and faded in popularity as the Chippendale style came into vogue. In America, however, the ball-and- claw remained a popular decorative feature well into the 19th century.
Mortise and Tenon Woodworking
Dovetail joints are considered to be one of the strongest joints used in the furniture industry. A dovetail is a locking joint. The English dovetail allows for the largest possible drawer storage capacity, while the French dovetail construction is used for more elaborate features such as a curved or bowed design.
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. The pins and tails have a trapezoidal shape.
Dovetail drawers are easily recognized by their distinct dovetail joint at the outside corner of the drawer . These look like jigsaw puzzle pieces joined together at a 90 degree angle. The benefit? Kitchen cabinets that have drawers secured with nails can come apart with heavy usage.