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Buying an Antique Chest of Drawers

When you are studying an item in a drawer, it is crucial to remain organised in your thoughts.

The first things to ask yourself when looking to purchase antique chest of drawers, is which wood the chest is constructed of? If it’s the early 18th Century it might be walnut. If it’s Georgian or later, it’s likely to be made from mahogany.

Take a look at the linings for the drawers. If they’re constructed of pine, the chest is likely inferior in quality, whereas when they are made composed of mahogany or oak, it is of higher quality. Be sure to look at the direction that the wood grain on the lower of the board runs. If it runs running from front to back, the chest is likely of the early 18th Century construction. The grain running side to side indicates that it was built post 1750.

The other thing to take into consideration is whether the handles on the chest are original. Handles are often replaced to make pieces of furniture appear more attractive and certain chests have three or four different kinds of handles through the time. It is best to look at the side of the front of the drawer If you find holes that don’t seem to be serving a purpose then the handles are replaced. The original handles can leave a bruise on the front of the drawer from hitting the wood for several hundred years or leave a shade mark due to blocking the sunlight.

If the handles are original, they can give a accurate indicator of the date of manufacture that the chest. A handle with a pear drop will suggest that the chest is William as well as Mary as well as Queen Anne period whereas a neck handle made of swans can be found on items which postdate 1750.

The mouldings on drawers can also provide clues to the time period of the chest. At the end of seventeenth Century mouldings were put on the carcass, and as the 18th Century progressed , these details were moved to areas around the edge of the drawers. The George II period drawers often come with Ovolo mouldings (a quarter-round edge) and, by 1760, drawers were typically fitted with an moulding of cock beads.

Feet were also frequently changed to make chests appear more stylish. Bun feet were very fashion-forward at the beginning in the early 18th Century however by 1740, bracket feet were more usual. The Sheraton period, the bracket foot was designed to create an elegant look that was in line with the elegant style of the time.

If you’ve thought about the above issues, you must take a look at what proportions the chest has. A good quality chest will be elegant in its proportions, with a nice transition to drawers and excellent mouldings that are crisp and clean. A chest that is not of the highest design will have a more functional appearance.

The most popular type of chest is a flat fronted chest . However, at the end of the 18th century, bow-fronted and serpentine chests were introduced into trend. A serpentine chest due to the additional construction work is more rare and valuable than a chest with a flat front that is of the same quality.

Chests may also be enhanced with other features that affect their worth. Some chests are made of solid wood, whereas some are veneered or veneered. Veneered chests are generally more durable and much more attractive. This is because the cabinet maker has selected specific pieces of wood to add some life and interest for the piece. Cabinet makers also included bandings, stringings , and even carvings to improve the appearance of a chest and, if they’re authentic they will increase the value of the chest.

When determining the worth of a piece of furniture, you need to take into consideration all of these aspects. The more unique and opulent an item is, then the better value it is however, it is equally important that the chest is of a excellent patination and colour.