If every journey begins with a single step, the road to antique furniture knowledge can start with a foot—specifically, the antique foot style belonging to a chair, chest or table. Note : Many of these styles have been incorporated time and again on pieces made since their first use. Use them as a starting point and one possible indicator of age rather than making a conclusion based only on the foot style. This furniture foot style consists of a tapered cylinder that is separated from the leg by a turned ring.
How to Identify Furniture of the 1800s by Its Dovetailing
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When you want to refinish old wooden furniture, the best place to look is the family storeroom: Check the attic, basement, garage, or wherever unwanted furniture has collected. You may also discover a real antique or two -- pieces handed down through the family for generations. Other good sources are secondhand stores, household auctions, and garage sales. With furniture, as with anything else, one person's junk is another another's treasure. Antique stores are a good place to find furniture to refinish, but expect to pay for these pieces. If you're interested in antiques, recent or old, research before you buy anything. Real antiques and many reproductions are extremely valuable, but there are also many imitations.
Furniture casters are viewed as a convenience that helps us move furniture so we can vacuum or rearrange the room. Yet, casters sometimes had more to do with lighting than housekeeping or design. Casters were fit on the legs of desks to allow the desk to be moved around the room to capture the changing sunlight throughout the day. Another use for casters is to estimate the date of the furniture.
Dovetailing reveals the age and hand-cut or machine-made origins of wood furniture. Dovetails are interlocking carved wood joints used in cabinetry to connect two pieces of wood -- drawer fronts and sides, cabinet or cupboard corners. The technique produces a sturdy, long-lasting connection.