Dating furniture styles

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A little glue cements the connection, and a good dovetail joint has great strength and durability.

Of all the categories of antiques you can collect, furniture is among the most popular and practical.

The stylistic techniques used to date formal furniture such as Chippendale and Hepplewhite simply does not work for American country and primitive furniture.

Country furniture does have its styles based predominately on religion and region.

This was an economical way of using expensive woods, and allowed the maker to create decorative effects from the different grains and patterns (called figuring) of the wood.

Veneered furniture has a carcass (solid body) made from a different (usually less expensive) wood.

This secondary wood, as it's known, is most commonly pine or oak. Used during the 18th century and Regency periods, nearly always as a veneer. Brownish-whitish wood used in the solid from the 17th century for the frames of upholstered furniture, because it doesn't split when tacked. Ranges in tone from light to dark brown, much used during the 18th century for French provincial furniture made in the solid. A dark, boldly figured wood, almost black in parts, with pale striations, used mainly as a veneer for refined furniture of the Regency period. Dense, heavy, almost black wood, often used as a contrasting inlay in marquetry veneering. Light brown wood, popular for Windsor chairs and provincial English furniture. Rich golden-brown or red-brown wood, which became popular in England c.1730.

The cabriole leg is the "most recognizable element" of Queen Anne furniture.

With just a little study of these examples, it is easy to spot true hand made construction vs. The name dovetail comes from the appearance of the joint, resembling the triangle shape of a bird's tail.

The earliest examples are from furniture placed with mummies in Egypt thousands of years ago, and also in the burials of ancient Chinese emperors.

For thousands of years, a dovetail joint was created by a skilled cabinetmaker using small, precision saws and wood chisels.

Tiny angled saw cuts were followed by careful cutting by a sharpened chisel on both sides to avoid splintering.

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