Determining the age of antique Indian furniture may seem difficult at first, but when looked closely you may find numerous easy to interpret clues.
One can easily determine the age of the furniture through its joints or how the pieces of wood are put together. The next factor that can help you is a tool that has been used in making a particular piece.
Examining these elements individually will help in calculating the correct date.
Examine Bottoms, Insides and Backs
You can find important clues just by looking at the bottom or back of the piece or inside the drawers. This way you will come to know whether the furniture piece is hand-made or machine-made.
The irregularities on the surface of the furniture indicated that it is handmade however; a smooth surface ensures the presence of a machine. It becomes more evident on the back of the surface.
Machine-made pieces came into existence after 1860. The shallow cuts indicate that no machine was used on it ever.
Do all the elements of the furniture match?
Notice the smaller elements like wooden drawer knobs, chair spindles or feet of the object. If there is a slight difference in the shapes of the pieces, chances of the furniture piece being handmade increases.
On the contrary, the objects largely made after 1860 will have almost similar components. It is as simple as that. Handmade components can never be identical.
This way; it is quite easy to determine the age of Indian Furniture in London.
Can you determine what type of tools has been used in its construction?
The presence of an uneven surface hints towards the usage of hand planes. As mentioned above, you can take clue from the back or insides of the furniture surface. Such objects are made before the 1800s.
Cuts and nicks confirm the use of hand chisels and other elbow tools for shaping purpose.
The presence of some circular pattern on the object confirms that the item was made in the era of circular saws. These manually operated hand saws gained popularity in mid 19th-century. This tool used to leave a straighter pattern in comparison to the previous tools.
There are a few other signs of craftsmanship as well that indicates the age of the antique.
The type of wood and Upholstery Fabrics
Different types of woods were used in different era and identifying them can resolve the issue just like that, however, most of us fail in identifying the type of wood. It is quite a common issue and one need not worry about it.
Oak was the most popular wood before 1700s. However, mahogany and walnut replaced it after the 17th century. Further moving into 1800s, the fine furniture manufacturers started using maple and cherry.
It was in the late 1800s when most of the Victorian furniture was made from mahogany and rosewood. Although, oak gained its position back in 1900.
Now you know how honing on wood identification skills can really pay you well.
The case is almost same with upholstery as well. Silk, wool and cotton were used differently at different instances of time. Later, they were replaced by damasks, satins and brocades.