Dating antique furniture hardware
The age factor is subjective: general antique stores label objects 50 years or older as antiques.Fine antique dealers consider objects 150 years and older to be antique.More than just a functional device, drawer and cupboard handles or knobs can provide both a decorative fillip to a piece of furniture and useful clues in dating it.These were still being used on country furniture in the 18th century, but on handle pieces were supplanted by drops, usually teardrop-shaped lumps of solid brass that were hinged to a backplate at their narrow end.In this article, we'll discuss how to assess whether a piece of furniture is an antique and whether it is worth saving through the refinishing process.
Towards the end of the century, handles were increasingly made in ormolu, brass or bronze gilded to give it a luxurious feel.
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.
Wherever you look, it's a sure bet that you won't find a genuine antique from 1500 or 1600.
What you may find is a genuine reproduction, and these can be extremely valuable. The first giveaway is the joinery; machine-cut furniture wasn't made until about 1860.