Decorating a home can be one of the most therapeutic things you can do, but it can also be the most stressful – especially if you’re going for a specific look or style and you’re finding it hard to find items that would be perfect for your home. Just the pressure of decorating a home perfectly can be challenging for a homeowner.
For instance, if you’re looking for antique décor, you might want to make sure that the pieces are from the same era or style. So when checking out an antique furniture piece, you would like to know if it’s Victorian or French Regency.
In this post, Callier Antiques and Restorations shares some tips on identifying antique furniture for your home:
Identifying Antique Furniture
When it comes to identifying antique furnishings, there are several styles and techniques that you can be familiar with that would help you differentiate authentic ones from reproductions. While you can’t be an expert as antique furniture identification takes a lot of studying and experience, there are some things you can look for to help you identify originals:
Labels or Signatures
Most antique pieces bear a label or a signature underneath the furniture to identify who made it. It is usually stamped or engraved, but others do come with paper labels. If you can indeed find a legitimate antique piece and the documented tag is intact, you’re truly getting something of value.
The furniture piece should have parts that are proportionate to each other. If you think the top part looks a little awkward with the bottom part, there’s a high chance that it’s a ‘marriage’ piece. A marriage piece is what they call furniture items that were salvaged, with two parts coming from different items and put together to create a ‘whole’ and functional piece. This is often done with chairs and tables.
Another thing you need to know is that until the early 1800s, wood furniture was sawed by hand, so the marks made by saw before that period were straight. It was after the 1800s when the circular saw was used – ones that left circular marks, too.
Style of Legs and Feet
You can tell a lot by the style of the legs and feet of the furniture. There are several leg styles like cabriole, fluted, Marlborough, saber, spiral, and more. Likewise, foot styles can tell you the estimated period from which the piece came. There are different foot styles, including cylindrical, ball and claw, arrow foot, paw foot, hoof, French foot, monopodium, scroll, and more.
Before the late 1600s, handmade pegs or dowels were used to bind mortise-and-tenon joints. In contrast, in the 1700s came dovetailed joints that were glued and therefore looked more sophisticated. Then in the 1860s, the half-moon technique or the Knapp joint was generally used. You might want to check on how the joints were put together if you are particular about period pieces.
Curate a Beautiful Collection at Cavalier Antiques and Restorations
These are just some of the things that you need to consider when shopping for antique furniture. Note that these are just a few, and there’s so much more to learn when it comes to identifying antique pieces. Of course, your search will be so much easier if you choose to get your antique furniture from a trusted store with a solid reputation.
Cavalier Antiques is one of the most reputable antique dealers in Adelaide, where you’ll find some of the most exquisite furniture for your home. Check out our collection and see how our furnishings may be what your home needs!