Dating antique dressers
The combination of shelves to display things and storage within the cupboards means an antique dresser would also look nice placed in a living room, with cookbooks, vases and ornaments on display. Older mass-produced pieces whose origins fall somewhere between and are ideal candidates for refinishing. Hand dovetails pictured below, top piece are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered.
It is also possible to pick up some elegant cabriole leg dressers and French dressers. Also from the low boy dressing tables evolved with mirrors and matching chairs.
What to Look for When Buying Old Furniture
There are two categories of dressers- dressers and racks and dresser bases. Used for the storage of tableware, cutlery, napkins and crockery. Any piece on casters wheels is typically pres.
The bottom of the drawers of an antique dresser are apt to show split wood due to shrinkage over time. On more elegant pieces, dovetailing is finer. Old dowels were never made exactly round or alike. Furniture Wood If you have a worn old dresser or rickety heirloom chair on your hands, you may be thinking of refinishing it yourself. They can aid in deciding the approximate age of a dresser.
Kriner, Fox Chapel Publishing Look for solid wood or plywood backing Look at the backside of your piece, including the insides and backs of drawers if applicable. Hand dovetails are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered. Wider, uniform machine-cut dovetails pictured below, bottom piece were common in factory-made pieces from until the modern era. Originally used to display tableware in the homes of the gentry, dressers have become over the years an essential addition to a well-equipped kitchen. An oak dresser base is very versatile and can be placed in a variety of spaces, attractive in either a dining or drawing room.
To avoid being fooled by forgers and fakes, check the dresser's out-of-sight areas, such as its back and side edges that would be placed against walls. Early pieces that were handcrafted will sometimes bear an inscription from an individual furniture maker, a clue to its value that should be examined by a professional appraiser. The back of the dresser is the best place to check. Run your hand over the surface of raw edges.
You also might feel undulated patterns under drawer bottoms. Regardless of whether your piece has value as an antique, these clues to its age and history can help you research appropriate finishes and hardware before you dive into your project. If you have a set with a separate mirror that hangs on the wall above the dresser, you can date that to the s or later. Generally, mass-produced pieces up until the s and s when particleboard and cheaper, flimsier construction techniques became popular are great candidates for refinishing. This is a natural mellowness attained with age and use.
Alongside this there are a large variety of antique Victorian dressers, farmhouse dressers, Georgian dressers and pine dressers on the market. Become aware of what to look for, and develop a trained eye. The tendency is for the shade of natural wood to darken. But keep in mind that there are lots of exceptions to these rules, so err on the side of caution.
You should feel a slightly wavy undulation on the surface of the wood. Identify the style to judge the approximate date of a dresser. Old nails are soft, resilient to rust and bend easily. Dovetailing can appear at the front of the drawers. Study the color and texture of the wood.
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