Before you visit us at our North London antique shop, you should have a rough idea on how to authenticate the items you will find. There are a number of factors to consider when gauging the era in which a piece of antique furniture was made. Once you date the furniture piece, you will be able to confidently pay for it. Here are some of the elements to look at when dating a piece of antique furniture:
1. Examine the Backs, Bottoms, and Insides
(Above photo: Architectural salvage at our North London antiques shop )
This may sound funny but there are a lot of clues in the backs, bottoms, and insides of antique furniture. One of such clues is whether the wood is hand-cut or machine cut. The genuine furniture pieces were hand-cut. You can know this through the several irregularities visible on these pieces of furniture. If you look at the back of the furniture, you are likely to notice minor nicks resulting from the use of a hand plane for smoothing. Such furniture pieces are likely to have been produced before 1860 when machines first came into use.
2. Check for Matching Elements
( Decorative arts and interiors at our North London antiques shop )
One thing we advise customers at our North London antique shop to look for is whether all of the minor elements actually match. Check the feet, chair spindles, and drawer knobs. If the shape and size are slightly different, then they are likely to have been produced before machines came into use in 1860. Where these elements are perfect matches, then they are likely to have been produced using machines after 1860. That would point out to you the exact time period when a piece of furniture was made.
3. Consider the Type of Tools Used During Construction
You can easily tell if a piece of furniture was crafted using hand planes. On such pieces of furniture, you will be able to find uneven surfaces of sorts. Again, check the backs, bottoms, and insides of the furniture pieces. Where hand chisels were used, you are likely to see cuts and nicks. Also, you are likely to see evidence of the use of circular saws which left circular patterns. To ensure there is no confusion with other handmade furniture in recent years, use the other indicators.
4. Look at the Wood and Upholstery Fabrics
(Above photo - Classical marble busts at our Canonbury Antiques North London shop )
The period in which a piece of furniture was made can also be defined by the type of wood used. At our North London antique shop, we have furniture made of different types of wood. For example, most of the furniture before 1700 were made of oak. After that, the most popular woods were walnut and mahogany. After 1800, craftsmen preferred cherry and maple. In the late 1800s, rosewood and mahogany were commonly used. After 1900, craftsmen went back to making furniture using oak. If you know the type of wood, you will have an idea about the authenticity of the furniture.
By looking at all of these elements, you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for from our North London antique shop. Welcome!
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