How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture

Antique dating periods, the 12 periods of american furniture

How to Identify Antique Japanese Figurines

How to Date Antique Furniture

Streamlined objects are often characterized by an aerodynamic appearance, with blunt, rounded and smoothly finished forms, and chrome highlight decoration. From the s up until the Eastlake period in the s, brass hardware fell out of favor in furniture manufacture and was sparsely used. The use of marble for tabletops was quite popular, pea green dating agency but expect to find the corners shaped to conform to the overall scrolling form.

This book gave cabinetmakers real direction and they soon eagerly copied the styles presented. French polishing came into vogue around and allowed for smoother, shiner finishes. The Chrysler Building in New York City remains among the finest example of Art Deco architecture and those same straight lines and gentle curves are found in furniture. Legs of this period tend to be straight or tapered to the foot. It emphasized the purity of geometric form and marked a return to the representation of recognizable objects.

Identifying Antique Furniture

The presence of brass hardware at all also tells a tale. Chair backs tend to be high and narrow, having a slight back tilt. Victorian, The Victorian period as it relates to furniture styles can be divided into several distinct styles. New technology advancements allowed more machined parts to be generated. Their furniture was practical and sturdy.

Other dark woods were featured, often to contrast the lighter ornaments. Op Art A style of abstract art of the s. Furniture that had mechanical parts was also embraced by the Victorians of this era.

How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture

If antique periods are used to reference an item it should actually have been made during the period indicated. When trying to identify antique furniture, dedicated antique hunters search for beautifully preserved pieces, armed with pins, magnifying glasses, spirit levels and all sorts of testing equipment. Historical periods or the periods of man can also be closely correlated but again rarely define the period of antique production. The Modern and Post-Modern periods were a stark departure from the English and French influence and the periods of the past centuries. The legs of this period are substantial and more flowing than those found in the Federal or Sheraton periods.

The first screws were crafted in the s by blacksmiths using square nail stock that was heated and pounded until it was somewhat round. When thinking of the general term, think of a cluttered environment, full of heavy furniture, and surrounded by plants, heavy fabrics and lots of china and glassware. The American craftsmen began to incorporate more flowing patriotic motifs, such as eagles with spread wings. It reflected an interest in ancient, particularly Egyptian, how does nerve dating work motifs. Early Victorian furniture followed the Regency trend of curved backs and some scrolled decorations.

  • The Chippendale and Heplewhite styles were also very popular.
  • Looking at the joinery, or the way a piece of antique furniture is put together, will provide many clues that help in determining the age.
  • New colonists in America brought their English furniture traditions with them and tried to translate these styles using native woods.

In Germany the style was called Jugendstil. Makers in Connecticut and New York often preferred slipper and claw and ball feet. Secession The name taken by several groups of artists in Germany and Austria who broke away from the official academies in the s to pursue their own artistic aims and organize their own exhibitions. Carved details gave dimension and interest.

It was used to make objects vehicles, household appliances and electrical equipment appear unified and modern and to increase their consumer appeal. The paintings are characterized by a sense of movement and abstract, geometric forms. Her love of ornate styles is well known. Finishes were often oil varnish, paint or wax over a stain. The dovetail joint began to make an appearance along with the mortise and tenon joint as a carryover from the Early American period.

Carved decoration in the form of scallop shells, leaves and flowers, particularly roses, and acanthus further add to the ornamentation of this style of furniture. Can you circa date solely on the type of wood used? Japanned decoration tends to be in red, green and gilt, often on a blue-green field.

Tips & Advice on Identifying Antique Furniture

  1. Ornamentation may be gilded or bronzed.
  2. Upholstery can be vinyl or smooth fabrics.
  3. It is characterized by elements reminiscent of Greek architecture, such as pilasters, flutes, column, acanthus, foliate scrolls, Greek key motifs and anthemion high-relief carving.
  4. Expect to find straight legs or fluted and slightly tapered legs.
  5. Look for Gothic arches, Chinese fretwork, columns, capitals, C-scrolls, S-scrolls, ribbons, flowers, leaves, scallop shells, gadrooning and acanthus leaves.
  6. During the Regency period, it became fashionable to decorate walls with paintings which led to lower pieces of furniture being introduced.

This style is best simplified as the plainest of the Victorian styles. Some classics are still being made today. Avoiding the use of traditional art materials, they strove to make new art works by bringing different elements together, seen to strong effect in their posters created out of photomontage. The French held it in higher esteem. Legs are usually cabriole or have substantial turned profiles.

Tips for Dating Old Pieces Made in America


The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the surfaces were polished. If the piece of furniture is dirty or encrusted with wax, clean it first with a mixture of denatured alcohol, white vinegar, and kerosene, in equal parts. When a piece of furniture is made in England, or styled after an English example, list of dating sites it may be known as Hepplewhite.

Timeline and descriptions of antique furniture styles

This valuable furniture guide can be purchased at krausebooks. Inlays were popular when made of ebony or maple veneer. However, meets coffee the clean Grecian lines of the Regency period were out of favour by when everyone wanted furniture that was showier with plenty of curves.

The 12 Periods of American Furniture

Identifying Antique Furniture and Furnishings

Stylistically it also reflects the architectural style known as Federal, where balance and symmetry were extremely important. In other words, more vintage furniture is acquired for its beauty and function rather than the profit potential of a piece. Chippendale was influenced by ancient cultures, such as the Romans, and Gothic influences. Upholstery becomes slimmer. When lesser woods were used, they were often painted to reflect these more expensive woods.

A primer on furniture styles

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Antique Periods Movements and Styles

Manually operated hand saws left a straighter pattern in comparison. What is Miniature Furniture? The cocktail table first enters the furniture scene during this period. The American architect Louis Sullivan is usually cited as the founder of Functionalism with his maxim form follows function.

Reflecting the architectural ornamentation of the period, inlays were popular, as was carving and even painted highlights. Cubism greatly influenced the ceramics, wallpapers and textiles of the art deco movement. Other interior or home decorators tend not to take things so seriously but are still interested in items, history and authenticity. Chair rails were more often mortised through the back legs when made in Philadelphia. Many dealers and enthusiasts refer to furniture and works of art by which period they are from without actually divulging even roughly what year that means the article is from.

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