Lori) so if the piece you’re examining is perfectly finished without shallow cuts being evident, this clue points to it being made in the late 1800s or beyond.
Most handmade pieces will show some irregularities to the surface such as minor nicks indicative of a hand plane being used to smooth out the wood, and this is sometimes even more evident on the back than on the finished front surfaces.
Most machine made pieces date after 1860, according to art historian Lori Verderame (also known as Dr.
In 1900, Frederick and Harriett Pigott built "Persimmon Hill", their two-story, Victorian-style house [A] at Dola, WV.
The collection of cut nails that you see above were used in its construction.
A nail may not be a noticeable style feature, but looking at them carefully can help you authenticate the age of a primitive or antique furniture piece before you buy.
Like restorers of historical buildings, you can identify the period by the technology used to create the nails and unlock the past of furniture.Why else would a carpenter need 17 different-sized nails ranging from 4" to 3/4" in length with different heads? The interior stairway is curved with wood paneling.The house is wood-framed with wood flooring and sub-flooring throughout. Though lacking traditional "gingerbread" trim, the fascia is adorned with scalloped escutcheons. At the time, dimension lumber (2 x 4, 2 x 6, etc.) measured the full dimension.These nails represent American nail technology from the early 1700s until 1900.These nails look different because they are different.The house was renovated in 1995, and carpenters Jim and Hank Carder saved the nails and made the above display.