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By Bob Flexner Pages 54-56 A while back, my wife and I were visiting friends who wanted to show us their collection of antique furniture.At one point we went into their bedroom and I headed directly for a very old-looking chest-of-drawers.There are several things to look for when examining a piece of furniture that help to identify it as an antique.It is also important to become familiar with the furniture styles of the different periods and eras.Sometimes a collector may come across a lovely piece that appears to have all of its drawer pulls, hinges, keyhole escutcheons or other hardware intact.However, further investigation shows the hardware is not an appropriate match to the piece.On the other hand, machine-cut dovetails definitely establish that the furniture is no older than about 1895, when the dovetail-cutting machine was invented.However, learning a few basic tips and tricks used by experienced antique collectors and dealers will give even a novice collector the general knowledge needed to identify a piece of antique furniture.
He doesn’t even see what’s inside the drawer.” And that was true.
Also important are style (including hardware), shrinkage, nails, screws, locks, the primary and secondary woods used, the type of finish, tell-tale tool marks, areas of wear and general appearance.
Second, many clues aid only in establishing that the furniture isn’t older than a certain date.
Antique Furniture is one of the most fascinating sections of antique collecting.
Primarily because so many of us naturally do what’s most important when collecting antique furniture. Most antique furniture tends to be purchased by ordinary everyday people, rather than dedicated antique furniture collectors.