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Inside Our Shop
Melissa's Antiques is filled with beautiful antiques and collectibles and we thought we would share a few photo's of our "real shop".
American chairs are divided into three main categories, Windsor style, Turner's chairs and cabinetmaker's chairs.
Drawer Bottom Construction for Antique Furniture
It's not just the dove tail construction of a drawer that helps us determine the age of a piece of furniture. The bottom of the drawer also offers some clues. Early drawers of the 1600's were nailed to the bottom of the drawer flush with the sides of the drawer. The drawer was hung from rails installed the case that fit into slots cut into the drawer sides. However over time the weight of the drawer contents cause the flushed nailed bottoms pulled out and the side rails tended to split. By the early 1700's a new design came about where the drawer bottoms were suspended inside the drawer by inserting the bottom into smaller dado cuts made on the inside surfaces of the drawer sides. The dado cuts were much smaller compared to the drawer bottom thickness so the bottom edges were chamfered (the edges cut down at an angle to fit the dado slots). Since cutting the material to size was done by hand it was easier just to chamfer the edges than the whole drawer bottom. The earlier pieces show the marks made by drawing knives used before machinery was available. Later pieces were planed down with the help of machinery and you can see the blade marks. Almost all drawer bottoms produced since the mid 1800's have flat bottoms produced by machinery.
Dovetailed Drawers Provide Answers
Last week I discussed the "dove tailed" drawer. Looking at the construction of the dovetail can help us determine the age of a piece of furniture, first we look at the joint to determine if it is machine made or hand done. If it is machine made then we know that it is not an old antique, There are early example of machine made drawers from the 1870's and 1880's but most machine made dove tailed drawers came so late that we consider the process a 20th century process. The machine made drawer is easily distinguished from hand crafted drawers, all of the machine done pins and tails are identical in size and shape. Virtually all modern wood furniture drawer construction is done by machinery today.