Dating antique furniture drawers

Flip the drawer over too, as a true period piece will not only have a solid wood bottom, but that wood will be thick and beveled to fit into the grooves of the frame of the drawer. High gloss finishes and polyurethane are 20th-century elements.Antique furniture was usually shellacked, meaning that it typically had a duller finish.Our reproduction furniture also exemplifies what a quality replica looks like, so be sure to learn the differences between good and bad antique imitations.You may also want to look up Asian furniture manufacturers: they usually produce caricatures of English or European styles, so you’ll find, for example, that ogee feet become ornate and excessively curved, or you may even find Asian motifs carved into the wood.), so that’s another—albeit slightly more difficult—indicator to look for. Basically, if you’re serious about knowing whether your piece is antique, compare it to similar pieces that claim to be antique.

Drawers (and backs) are also usually one of the cheapest components in furniture. Most modern pieces—even high-quality reproductions that look very genuine on the outside—use plywood in drawer construction.Also, if you can find screws (usually visible on the back, if at all), are they Phillips or flat head?Phillips screws are a 20th-century invention, so if your piece is supposed to be from the 18th century but has Phillips screws, they have either been added in a recent restoration or it’s a fake. If your piece has drawers, take a drawer out and look at how the handles are attached on the inside of the drawer.This one has limited application but can be a life saver in some situations.We’ve already written a great piece on distinguishing between different woods, so you may want to check that out.

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