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Dating furniture dovetail joints
From Victorian times, shellac was the only you surface finish; lacquer and wood were not roadworthy until the mids. Best furniture, as with anything else, one camp's junk is jointz another's will. Whether that aunty is fat, authoritarian, symmetrical or great sparingly reveals a clue to the characteristics of the piece. But the local developed into a very thin, quick and sporty-looking joint. The contact itself is the unspoiled topic. Examining these attractions updates determine the age of old chess. It's also to spot an style by the drawers, because styles weren't seller-cut until about.
If you're interested in antiques, recent or old, research before ioints buy anything. Real antiques and many reproductions are extremely valuable, but there are also many imitations. If you aren't sure an antique is really antique, pay for Dating furniture dovetail joints expert opinion. Never buy doveetail antique, or try to refinish it, until you know what you have. In this article, we'll discuss how to assess whether a piece of furniture is an antique and whether it is worth saving through the refinishing process. When is Old an Antique? There are many different styles of furniture, and each type has distinguishing features.
For the most part, the furniture you'll encounter will probably be limited to traditional English and American Colonial styles; you aren't likely to find a Louis XV chair at a garage sale. The basic English and American styles run the gamut from ornate to severely functional, from massive to delicate. Just remember, if you like it, the style is right. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry.
What is a Dovetail Joint on Antique Furniture?
moints Dating furniture dovetail joints age factor is subjective: Fine antique dealers consider objects years and older to be antique. In dovefail East, furniturd antique is Queen Anne or earlier; in the West, it's any piece of furniture that came across the mountains in a wagon. A southern antique is a piece made before the Civil War. Wherever you look, it's a sure bet that you won't find a genuine antique from or What you may find is a genuine reproduction, and these can be extremely valuable. There are several ways you can spot an antique. The first giveaway is the joinery; machine-cut furniture wasn't made until about If the piece has drawers, remove a drawer and look closely where the front and back of the drawer are fastened to the sides of the drawer.
If a joint was dovetailed by hand, it Datlng only a few dovetails, and they aren't exactly even; if it has closely spaced, precisely cut dovetails, it was machine-cut. Handmade dovetails almost always indicate a piece made furniturd Look carefully at the bottom, sides, and back of the drawer; if the wood shows nicks or cuts, it was probably cut with dovetaill plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife. Straight saw marks also Dating furniture dovetail joints an old piece. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, it was cut by a circular saw, not in use until about The joints were less delicate at first -- fairly wide and blunt, cut crudely with rare exceptions.
But the style jolnts into a very thin, precise and fragile-looking joint. In the late s, scalloped dovetails were the rage, but the trend shifted back to the classic triangular shape after a few years. Hand-cut dovetailing was the default until when uniform machine-cut joints were introduced. But fine cabinetmakers persisted in fitting their joints by hand until the early s, and cabinetmakers in Europe cut dovetails by hand well into the s. American Aberration American woodworkers played around with the ancient dovetailing concept and invented a version of their own in Eastlake and Victorian-style wood furniture, especially case furniture, displays a round dovetail known as a "pin and cove.
The style never caught on outside North American and was gradually abandoned in favor of the classic dovetail. Meanwhile, country carpenters were turning out sturdy and polished dovetailing in their handmade pieces -- but favored two or three large dovetails, fairly symmetrical, over the more delicate and numerous joints in which master carpenters took pride. Sticky Stuff The strength of the joint is the reason for its long popularity. It was also free, in societies where hand-forged screws or nails were luxuries that might rust, expand and split your bedpost, tabletop or chest of drawers.
Cabinetmakers carefully chiseled the "pins" to fit smoothly and snugly into the "tails," but they also slicked some glue in the joint before fitting the two pieces of wood together. An analysis of glue remnants could be the key to precisely defining the age of a hand-cut dovetailed antique.