Finding out the age of a piece of Australian antique furniture requires research. Examine the elements that make up the piece of furniture, like its woodwork, finishes, knobs, fabric, screws, and other details. These criteria may help you determine if your item is an antique or a machine-made imitation.
Here are five ways to determine the age of antique furniture:
1. The Wood Used in the Furniture
Wood identification is the first step in determining the age of furniture. The method used to identify the wood will depend on the piece of furniture. But to treat every piece of timber identically, you can take some general steps when examining wood.
When dating antique furniture, look closely at the wood to see any signs of missing nails and screws. Inspect the joints and the dimensions of the wood and see if they are consistent.
Go over the grain or the final appearance of the wood. Doing so will help you determine if the wood is hardwood or softwood and the type of tree it came from. Antique hardwood furniture is usually made from oak, ash, walnut, cherry, or mahogany. Softwood, such as pine, fir, and cedar are usually used for beds and bed frames.
Moreover, examine the finish of the wood. Observe it closely to see if it is hand-rubbed, painted, or stamped.
2. The Joinery
The joinery of the furniture is a great way to determine the age of the piece. When looking at joinery, look closely at how the joint is worked.
If the piece of furniture has mortise and tenon joints, it is most likely to be a vintage piece of furniture. Mortise and tenons joints are strong, durable, and have a very distinctive appearance.
3. The Type of Wood and Stain Used
The type of wood and stain is another way to determine the age of antique furniture. The stains used on the vintage pieces will give you a lot of information about the piece’s history.
4. The Kind of Hardware and Hinges Used
The hinges and nails used are a good indicator of how old the furniture is. Hand-forged nails and screws were used from the nineteenth century and earlier. The nails are recognisable by their distinctive shapes.
If the item has a mother-of-pearl or brass inlay, it is usually a sign that it is indeed an antique. If you are unsure if the old piece of furniture was manufactured in the early century, go to a local antique shop and ask the owner to examine the piece of furniture for you.
5. The Finish and Style of the Furniture
The style and finish of the piece will also help you determine the age of your furniture. Antique furniture was once painted in a variety of finishes. The paint was used to cover wood imperfections and fix its damage. In the later years, furniture was painted black, dark green, and dark brown.
Ideally, you should use all of these tips when trying to figure out the exact age of the piece of furniture. Some of the furniture may only have a few signs, but it is vital to consider the details of the item and the era in which it was manufactured to get a better idea of its age.
Finding Value in Vintage Furniture
The search for the perfect antique furniture may be time-consuming and tedious if you are looking for something specific for your home. Whether you are acquiring an antique piece for yourself or your business, verifying if the piece is genuinely antique is vital.
At Cavalier Antiques and Restorations, we have a large selection of high-quality antique furniture in mahogany, rosewood, cedar, and walnut spanning from 1700 to 1920. There is also a vast selection of furniture and collectibles, such as magnificent coloured glass, china, clocks, spelter, and jewellery.
We also provide furniture restoration in Adelaide and other services. If you are an antique dealer, collector, and anybody who likes antiques and collectibles, contact us today!