Easy Made Drawer PullsThere are many pieces of new unpainted furniture in the antiques market today. From new Arts and Crafts oak made in America, to the flood of Indonesian mahogany in 19th century styles, many of these new pieces are virtually indistinguishable in shape from the originals. Add new hardware cast from vintage originals and you have the potential for confusion. One of the clues furniture experts look for to authenticate age of furniture is the presence of appropriate "shadows. Shadow in this sense does not necessarily mean dark or black, but refers to a relative difference.
Shadow in this sense does not necessarily mean dark or black, but refers to a relative difference.
Wear and Hardware Shadows - Inspecting Drawers for Clues to Age
In many cases, a furniture shadow is lighter, not darker, than a surrounding surface but is still referred to as a shadow. Wood covered by a drawer pull, for example, would not be exposed to the wood smoke, grime and abrasion as the surrounding wood not covered by the pull. If the original hardware has been on the furniture for years and the piece has not been refinished, the protected surface under the hardware should logically look different than surrounding unprotected surfaces.
Similarly, areas subject to normal movement over many years also show shadows caused by continuous wear.
Dating drawer handles
Drawers are one of the best places to check for shadows because they include both hardware pulls and movement sliding in and out. Whether inspecting an entire chest of drawers or a single drawer in a desk, drawers can often tip you off as to whether the entire piece is right or wrong. The material of which draw hardware is made — metal, wood, glass, ceramic — has little effect on the creation of the shadow. Any reasonably solid material will create a shadow. The exact time it takes to produce a shadow depends on the original finish, how the piece has been used or stored and the conditions to which a piece is exposed such as coal or wood smoke, cooking fumes, sunlight, humidity, etc.
Generally, drawers in the original finish made before ca.
Usually, but not always, the older a piece, the more obvious the shadows. Of course genuinely old pieces can be refinished and original hardware may be replaced with identically shaped new hardware. Shadows should be only one part of your examination. Always use a variety of tests to determine age and authenticity.
Dating new pieces like the new oak commode above can be especially difficult when old-appearing reproduction hardware is used. Many new drawer pulls, like those shown in the catalog page above, are cast directly from old originals.
When the pull is removed from the plate, the protected areas under the posts black arrows are lighter in color. The parts of the posts passing through the drawer were also protected and are a lighter color.
The overall pull has developed a natural dark patina as shown in Fig.
Dating Antique Furniture Handles Furniture Logo, Retro Furniture, Classic . antique hardware, drawer pulls, knobs restoration old original period drawer pulls. Shop for-and learn about-Antique Drawer Pulls and Handles. One of the easiest improvements you can make to a dresser, desk, or cabinet that you've picked up . Dating new pieces like the new oak commode above can be especially difficult Many new drawer pulls, like those shown in the catalog page above, are cast.
However, the part of the pull that touched by the hand to open the drawer is a lighter color. Patina does not have a chance to develop where hands are continually touching the pull to open the drawer.
Examining these elements individually, as well as furniture pieces in their entirety, will help you learn to correctly date them. Looking at the bottom or back of a piece, or inside its doors and drawers, can provide important clues about whether or not a piece of old furniture was machine cut or crafted by hand. Most handmade pieces will show some irregularities to the surface such as minor nicks indicative of a hand plane being used to smooth out the wood, and this is sometimes even more evident on the back than on the finished front surfaces.
This can mean that they were handcrafted prior to or so.
Machine made furniture produced largely after will have components that match more perfectly than those made by hand. The reason? When hand planes were used to smooth woods, they more often than not left some sort of uneven surface.
Determining the date of old furniture pieces can be tricky. or inside its doors and drawers, can provide important clues about whether or not a. Wooden Knobs were first used on drawer furniture in the seventeenth century oak period until about , when brass drops were introduced. R O B I N S O N ' S A N T I Q U E S ~ Drawer Pulls Handles and Knobs. Drawer Pull Boards (circa ) Chippendale, Hepplewhite, & Federal Type drawer pulls (circa ).
As discussed above, this is especially evident on the back or underside of pieces made prior to the mids. Cuts and nicks can also leave proof that hand chisels and other tools operated with sheer elbow grease were used to shape woods.
Manually operated hand saws left a straighter pattern in comparison. Looking for other signs of age is also wise in addition to indicators of hand craftsmanship.
Antique Drawer Pulls and Handles
For instance, oak was used in furniture made prior to Aftermahogany and walnut were very popular. The Empire period certainly had decorative hardware but that was the end of it for nearly half a century. The Late Classicism style of the s and s used almost no brass hardware and Rococo Revival and Renaissance Revival used very little. It was only in the Eastlake period in the s that brass hardware became important again.
That's a real selling point when looking at a chest of drawers that might be years old and think that those brass pulls have been there. 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. Cabinet Handles Cabinet handles are hardware with history. Dating back in use to the 19th century, this hardware From $
The post at the top is handmade from the early 19th century. Note the rough texture and the shallow, flat treads.
This post started as a square rod. The post on the bottom is a machine made post from the midth century with a smooth surface and perfect threads. Photo courtesy Fred Taylor. So, if the hardware is the right style, looks appropriate for the piece and could very well be as old as the piece, how can you tell? The easiest and least intrusive way is simple observation. Over the years you can bet that not every time that hardware was cleaned some industrious soul removed it from the drawer.DIY Drawer Pulls To Update Your Furniture! - Dana Jean
The same is true each time the piece got waxed. If the finish was waxed or the brass cleaned while the pull was in place, there will be some residue around the edge of the brass. The build up of wax or the overflow of brass cleaner will be evident. But that clue is only valid in its presence.