Tips for Dating Furniture: How Old is Yours?

Do you have a piece of furniture in your home with no known origins? Are you wondering how old it is?

There’s no one size fits all way for dating furniture, but there are a handful of tips you can follow to make an educated guess. Here’s what you need to know:

•    Check for plywood: Plywood was invented in the 1930s. If it’s present, you know the piece is not any older than this.

•    Check for mortise and tenon joints: This type of joint was commonly used starting in the 1700s.

•    Take a closer look at the type of screws: Screws were handmade in the 18th century, so the heads are not generally perfect circles. Also, Phillips screws were not invented until the 1930s.

•    Inspect the veneer: Veneer used in older furniture is thicker than the veneer used in more recent designs.

•    Check for Knapp joints: This type of joint was commonly used in furniture produced between 1871 and 1900.

There are other ways to date furniture, but these five tips should put you on the right track. If you’re able to use several of these tips, you have a better chance of determining a ballpark age of your furniture.

Four Sales is the leading estate sale company in Virginia, DC and Maryland. For the past 40+ years, Four Sales has conducted over 3,000 estate sales in Virginia, DC and Maryland. Four Sales estate sales headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia with regional offices in Charlottesville, Virginia and Annapolis, Maryland.     

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