• 25
    Jan

Bold as Brass: Cleaning Your Antique Brass Furniture Hardware

Most traditional furniture hardware is brass or brass looking, but that covers a multitude of sins. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc and is a nonferrous (no iron or steel) metal. Brass that is 70-percent copper is known as bright brass or high brass and shines up to be bright yellow. A higher […]

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  • 12
    Jan

The Leaf Problem: Where to Put Table Extensions

Extension dining tables were a great invention. Going from slabs of boards laid across trestles to a fixed table that could be expanded at will was a giant step in human gastronomic history. But it also created a number of problems/opportunities for future diners. One of the problems is centered on the very thing that […]

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  • 5
    Jan

Step into My Parlor … and Sit in the Correct Chair

One of the most frequently seen arrangements of seating furniture in an antique shop or at a show is the ubiquitous “parlor set.” It seems to usually consist of a rather poorly constructed small scale love seat and a couple of more-or-less matching chairs, one of them probably a rocker. Not much to look at […]

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  • 11
    Nov

Multitasking Furniture: Doing Double Duty in the Colonial Home

Have you ever had one of those “multipurpose” tools or gadgets? You know, the kind that combines several useful ideas into one convenient package? If your experience is like mine, you found that the convenience was overrated and the usefulness less than useful. Like most things designed to do more than one thing, they don’t […]

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  • 3
    Nov

Hand-Carved American Furniture that Never Came Close to a Chisel

In furniture making and design, it always seems preferable that flat, plain panels of unadorned wood be largely avoided wherever possible. There’s a need to decorate blank space. Over the centuries, that need has largely been filled using the talents of people with special skills that few of us ever acquire. These are the carvers—the […]

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  • 15
    Oct

Furniture French: You May Already Speak It

If you like older and antique furniture, you may have already acquired another asset that you didn’t even know about in addition to the antiques. You may have the beginnings of a second or, in some cases, even a third language skill. Most of us are reasonably proficient in English, and some of the fortunate […]

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  • 8
    Oct

Detecting Furniture’s Cheap Tricks & Fake Finishes

Throughout most of the history of wooden furniture, there have been many attempts to disguise the true nature of the wood used. Most attempts are efforts to make a lesser wood appear to be a more expensive, more beautiful or more exotic species. It may be that the desired wood is too expensive for the […]

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  • 29
    Sep

Fred’s Junk Drawer: Small Tips that don’t Fit Anywhere Else

This column is intended to be like the kitchen drawer everyone has that is packed with indispensable items (they must be indispensable, or you would have cleaned them out by now) but you can’t always remember where they are or they are too much trouble to dig out so you just struggle on without them. […]

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  • 15
    Sep

Large Supply of Official ‘Commemorative’ JFK White House Rocking Chairs Keep Prices Low

It is as iconic a symbol as Lincoln’s stovepipe hat or FDR’s cigarette holder. The rocking chair of John F. Kennedy endures as a symbol of his presidency. Throughout his short time at the White House, the JFK rocker was evident everywhere he went, from the Oval Office to Camp David, aboard the presidential yacht, […]

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  • 9
    Sep

Online Promises: You Believe Those Internet Articles, Don’t You?

If you use the Internet to find information, like I do, you already know it can be a great resource. But as I have found out—and as you probably already know—there is some information that is less than sterling quality. Especially when it comes to furniture. Online articles about older and antique furniture are a […]

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