Dating antique furniture locks kristen johnston dating david newsom

The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating.

Although many pieces of antique furniture have survived through the centuries, unfortunately a great number of them are missing some or all of their original hardware.

Sometimes a collector may come across a lovely piece that appears to have all of its drawer pulls, hinges, keyhole escutcheons or other hardware intact.

There are several types of businesses that carry, and often specialize in, original hardware for antique furniture.

These include architectural artifact companies, antique hardware shops and some antique stores.

Hand made screws and nails were relatively expensive and could rust and expand, sometimes cracking the wood they secured. Dovetails have great strength, holding pieces of wood in perfect alignment over long periods of time.

This lavishly hand-carved cabinet from about 1890 shows structural dovetail joints on the back side.

The use of hand tools and hand-cut dovetails is now the province of hobbyists and a few small shops creating authentic replicas of antique furniture.

This over-view of the dovetailing techniques should easily help identification and dating of most furniture from the last 200 years.

Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands.

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