Dating age antique furniture

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 type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating.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.

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Generally, mass-produced pieces up until the 1950s and 1960s (when particleboard and cheaper, flimsier construction techniques became popular) are great candidates for refinishing. Common style examples are Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Sheraton, Federal (shown below on a chest of drawers original to the period), Depression-era, Victorian, and Queen Anne.

Green paint, or eco-friendly paint, is becoming a popular option for home decorating because it doesn't contain harmful VOCs.

“If they’re really old, it could be just a pencil signature on the inside of a drawer,” Masaschi says.

“But by the time you hit the turn of the 20th century, makers were using paper labels (shown below), which then progressed into brass plaques tacked onto the insides of drawers or on the back of a piece.

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Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_spinner. Check out the different types of natural paint to help you choose the best one.Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands.Solid wood backing indicates a piece is likely pre-1880s; plywood came into vogue around the turn of the 20th century.Particleboard means you probably have something made in the 1960s or later—the era of “cutting corners,” as Masaschi says.“The basic rule of thumb is, if the piece was made before 1850, you want to do some homework on whether it should be conserved rather than restored—meaning to preserve and stabilize the piece as it is now,” she says.

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