For those of us who are planning to buy some antique furniture, here are just a few points to watch and remember.
- Chippendale was a designer, not a maker, so it is unlikely you will find a chair made by the great man
- Dining chairs in sets are usually numbered using Roman numerals
- Stuff over seats should be nailed onto rails made of beech, which is less likely to split
- Check the back legs for wear and weakness as this is where they go first
- Mortise and tenon joints should show on the outer surface of drawers
- Dressers tend to be rather plain – elaborate friezes may have been added later
- Marriages between tops and bases however are not necessarily a problem if matched well
Chests of Drawers
- Revival pieces have machined, rather than handmade, dovetails in the drawers and period handmade veneers are much thicker cut than machined veneers
- Drawer handles set at the edge of a chest may suggest it has been cut down from something else
- Three top drawers may also suggest that it was originally something else, like a tallboy for instance
- These tables should show wear and tear as they were used well
- Not many will have the original baize but check the surround as well
- Tops often warp over time
- Marriages can be hard to determine with swivel top varieties
If wishing to purchase an antique chest of drawers in Lancashire or Cumbria, a reputable antiques dealer will always be pleased to provide any number of hints on buying a good piece.
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