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Saturday, December 31, 2011

How Old Are You?

How old is an item-or How do you determine the age of a piece?
When it comes to Antique-Vintage pieces, there are many ways I determine the age-or at least a Ball Park idea.
1. The Look- The wear & tear on the piece- an old piece should look old-there should be some wear -and the piece should show it's age.
2. The Condition- The quality of the materials, & How it is made-with Dovetail
3. Antiques are 100 years old or older- and Usually have softer-rounded edges.

There are many reproductions-so examining the piece, can lead to which you have.
Is it made with Square Nails- which were used before 1820's

Pulling out the drawers to see the craftsmanship
* Example of the Dovetail-
Large Dovetail is Early 18th Century
Smaller Dovetail began being used in the 19th Century and if they are more evenly spaced then they were made by machines and made during the Victorian Era.
An example of an Antique Chippendale Chair-

There should be some wear on the top edge- where it would/should get the most wear from grabbing over the years from hands that have natural oils in them.(should be darker in color)
There should be some dings on arms from bumping of table-walls or other items.

These re-production Chairs (Chippendale Style) from Pottery Barn are made to look a bit worn..

When working with Upholstery-Usually the more you dig into them and tear apart the layers-the history will show through.
Older pieces-are stuffed with horse hair-and definitely more fragile- some have hand made screws or square nails inside holding the lining together & again as seen here-you can see the discoloration of the wood from age & natural wear.

Whether you buy because you Love the style-detail-character of the piece or if your buying because you collect antiques-
Always good to know what your purchasing & the value of it.


  1. Hey there! The chairs look great! Good finish, and the hues too. The carving and color let out the age of an antique. It wouldn't be a bad idea to take an expert when dealing with antiques.

  2. Great information! Stop by for a visit real going on!!!

  3. would "love" the OLD house that I live in....almost 100 years has seen a few "better" days...especially paint wise. 8~)
    Take care,
    Mommy 2