In A. Harry Sherwood of Grand Rapids, Mich. Is there such a thing? Is there a style that is both typically American and that can be found primarily only in this country? After getting off to a slow start, the early Colonists were more concerned with food and shelter than furniture, the furniture business picked up nicely and soon a great number of turners, cabinetmakers and woodworkers were making household products for the new settlements. Those styles included Jacobean and William and Mary among others.
Identifying Antique Furniture
Dovetails - A Clue for Dating Antiques - The Harp Gallery
These case pieces—desks and chests of various kinds—have drawer fronts and drawer blades the horizontal framing members that create the drawer cavity shaped with two vertically-oriented forward swellings, a shape also described as a reverse serpentine or oxbow. Creating the oxbow form required cutting and smoothing of drawer fronts from thick stock, making this furniture time-consuming and thus expensive to produce. Oxbow furniture was favored in New England and was typically made of solid hardwoods such as mahogany, walnut, maple, birch, or cherry. The chests were designed with carved claw-and-ball feet or shaped bracket feet, either ogee in vertical profile or straight-sided with ornately scalloped edges. Overhanging tops had molded edges and the hardware was mounted on the forward most parts of the swelled fronts; the hardware was either post-and-bail or had rococo-styled back plates. In short, this furniture displayed stylistic features associated with the Chippendale period of the mid- to late-eighteenth century. Although the oxbow drawer shape is visually distinctive, period references to the design feature not only lack specificity, they are ambiguous.
A primer on furniture styles
Showroom - Frequently Asked Questions. Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands. As the dovetail joint evolved through the last one hundred thirty years, it becomes a clue for the age and authenticity of antique furniture. The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating. With just a little study of these examples, it is easy to spot true hand made construction vs.
This lavishly hand-carved cabinet from about shows structural dovetail joints on the back side. Simpler country furniture often had larger dovetails, or even a single tail and pin. This country pine cupboard from the 's has big country dovetails:. These were cut with a jig or pattern, and an apprentice could create a very well fitting and attractive joint.