Dating antique armchairs
Before 1860, most drawer knobs, pulls, and implements were made by hand.Feet and chair spindles were also carved individually, so there is no way each one could possibly look identical.Combining this dating process with several other techniques will help you make an accurate age determination.Dovetails have long been a popular method for attaching two pieces of wood at a 90-degree angle often seen in drawer construction.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. Once lacquer hits the century mark it tends to turn quite dark.If your piece is seeing this darkening effect, you're safe to assume that the piece is at least 100 years old.Walnut and mahogany were prevalent between the years 1700 to 1800, and maple and cherry were common from 1800–1900.
The first machine made screw was produced in 1848, so anything that uses a complete set of screws that appear to be machine turned will most likely date from circa-1850 and later.You’ll want to take a look at the address listed on the production tag.Many fakes list a full address for the builder, including 5-digit zip codes.Tool marks and obvious signs of rough cuts are fairly typical with pieces more than 150 years old.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.
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But, it is important to determine which type of wood is most prevalent in your antique to help determine the age.