Dating furniture styles
The problem with using style to establish the construction date of country and primitive furniture is that regional styles remained unchanged for most of the 19th century.
Unable to use style, dealers and collectors have turned to the telltale signs left on the furniture itself by tools and by construction methods.
This secondary wood, as it's known, is most commonly pine or oak. Used during the 18th century and Regency periods, nearly always as a veneer. Brownish-whitish wood used in the solid from the 17th century for the frames of upholstered furniture, because it doesn't split when tacked. Ranges in tone from light to dark brown, much used during the 18th century for French provincial furniture made in the solid. A dark, boldly figured wood, almost black in parts, with pale striations, used mainly as a veneer for refined furniture of the Regency period. Dense, heavy, almost black wood, often used as a contrasting inlay in marquetry veneering. Light brown wood, popular for Windsor chairs and provincial English furniture. Rich golden-brown or red-brown wood, which became popular in England c.1730.
Listed below are examples of the most frequently seen types of woods used for antique furniture. Also popular during the 18th and 19th centuries as a base for painted furniture. Orange-brown wood popular for American Queen Anne and Chippendale furniture. There are several types of mahogany - San Domingan, Cuban, Honduras and Spanish are most common. Deep, rich, chocolate-brown or pale golden-brown coarse-grained wood used predominantly in Britain from Middle Ages to late 17th century.
Many pieces offer you the alternative of using them either for their original purpose, or of adapting them to modern-day living.
Furniture differs from other types of antique in that you probably don't want to collect it by the type of object - nobody wants a room full of only chests or tables - but you may have an affinity for a particular wood or style of decoration.
The Queen Anne style of furniture design developed before, during, and after the reign of Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1702–1714).
Queen Anne furniture is "somewhat smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than its predecessors," and examples in common use include "curving shapes, the cabriole leg, cushioned seats, wing-back chairs, and practical secretary desk-bookcase pieces." In contrast to William and Mary furniture, which was marked by rectilinearity (straight lines) and use of curves for decoration, Queen Anne furniture uses C-scroll, S-scrolls, and ogee (S-curve) shapes in the structure of the furniture itself.
The cabriole leg is the "most recognizable element" of Queen Anne furniture.A little glue cements the connection, and a good dovetail joint has great strength and durability.Of all the categories of antiques you can collect, furniture is among the most popular and practical.This is a boon for collectors who can study original or facsimile catalogues to identify and date items in their collection. With the passage of time, miniatures from this period are now considered highly desirable and "antique." Even items made in large quantities may become scarce depending upon how many were discarded in the past and how many are now disappearing into collections.With the arrival of web auction houses such as e Bay, a new system of supply and demand has supplemented traditional antique and second-hand shops and auctions.
The stylistic techniques used to date formal furniture such as Chippendale and Hepplewhite simply does not work for American country and primitive furniture.