Antique gentleman’s dresser has distinctive design features from the other furnishing style. Most widely available furniture you may encounter is probably the ones with American and English Colonial styles. The dresser has great value due to its age, especially the ones that were adorned with exquisite artistry. While the factor of age can be quite subjective, a gentleman’s dresser is said to antique in general if it is aged 50 years old and earlier. To spot authentic antique furniture, here are four useful tips you can use:
Pay attention to the joinery
Furniture cutting machine wasn’t invented well until 1860s. So, for example, if you want to examine a claimed antique gentleman’s chest of drawers, pull out the drawers and observe thoroughly how the front and back parts are secured to the drawers’ side. A hand-fitted joint will only have several dovetails and won’t be precisely event. If the drawer is happened to have smoothly cut joint and is closely spaced, then it’s most likely made after 1860s.
Check carefully for the sides, bottom, and the back part of the dresser
Still related to the prior point, if you spot any cuts or nicks on the antique gentleman’s dresser, then it was possibly cut by hand using a drawknife, spokeshave, or plane. On the other hand, arc or circular shaped cut marks are only possible to be achieved by using circular saw, which wasn’t utilized until 1860s.
Notice the symmetry
Flawless symmetry on the furnishing is only achievable by using machine. The features of handmade furniture are very rarely to be uniformed. Observe the slats, rockers, spindles, rungs, or other components with small diameter carefully, because minor differences in shape and size may not be able to be noticed right away.
Inspect the wood finishing
Shellac was the only available finishing for wood surface until Victorian times, because it wasn’t until midst 1800s that varnish and lacquer were utilized. Antique furniture made prior to 1860s would have shellac finishing. Even older furniture would most likely feature wax, oil, or milk paint finishing. Meanwhile, fine antique furnishing piece were commonly French-polished.
After you are able to determine if the piece of furniture you spotted is truly antique, you may want to find out about its value next. It can be done by searching for its age, rarity, original owner, or by observing further about its condition and quality. It is also recommended to seek out antique appraiser or dealer for helps regarding the worth of the antique gentleman’s dresser.