Dating antique furniture hardware

More than just a functional device, drawer and cupboard handles or knobs can provide both a decorative fillip to a piece of furniture and useful clues in dating it.These were still being used on country furniture in the 18th century, but on handle pieces were supplanted by drops, usually teardrop-shaped lumps of solid brass that were hinged to a backplate at their narrow end.And the threaded posts of an 18th century piece would have been hand cut and the nuts were usually round.Get an expert opinion: Exact symmetry is another dating antique that the piece was machine-made.Wherever you look, it's a sure bet that you won't find a genuine antique from 1500 or 1600.What you may find is a genuine reproduction, and these can be extremely valuable. The first giveaway is the joinery; machine-cut furniture wasn't made until about 1860.You may also discover a real antique or two -- pieces handed down through the family for generations.

The basic English and American styles run the gamut from ornate to severely functional, from massive to delicate. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry.Handmade dovetails almost always indicate a piece made before The hardware of a 17th century piece would have been held in place by clinched cotter pins on the inside.If a joint was dovetailed by hand, it has only a few dovetails, and they are not exactly even; if it has closely spaced, precisely cut dovetails, it was machine-cut.Another innovation of the Federal period was the reversing of dating bremen bail the handle. The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the faces were polished.Today the discussion is just on determining the originality of hardware.

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