• 25
    Jul

Ask A Worthologist Question: Oscar Bach Table

Walter F. picked up this table at a garage sale for $250. Its owner had said it was probably from the 1940s and that he’d just purchased it himself at a yard sale the year before from an older gentleman about 80 who was clearing his house and moving to Florida. The owner didn’t really […]

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  • 20
    Jun

Antiques Auction Forum: Allan Breed & 18th-Century Cabinetry

In this week’s podcast, I visit with master craftsman Allan Breed at his shop & School of Fine Woodworking in Rollinsford, N.H. We talked about the construction of period American furniture, carving and early American apprenticeships. Of all cabinetmakers in the U.S., Allan was selected to make an exact copy of the most important piece […]

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  • 20
    Jun

Coming Too Soon? – 20th Century Antiques

  The definition of an antique, like many other definitions we have long been comfortable with, has been under pressure for a number of years. What was once considered “junk” is now highly sought after as “collectibles.” Second-hand or used furniture has become “vintage” and anything older than a black-&-white television set is considered to […]

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  • 6
    Jun

Wet Worry – Dealing with Water Damage

In this year of what seems to be extraordinary adverse weather events with tornadoes and flooding, and with more flooding looking imminent as the past winter’s snow pack starts to melt, now seems to be a good time to talk about excess water and its effects on your furniture. If you are lucky, you will […]

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  • 10
    May

Second City Furniture: Good Stuff From Chicago

Chicago is frequently referred to as America’s “Second City,” although most Chicago residents probably don’t feel that way. But where the subject of older furniture is concerned, Chicago is often overlooked. New England is viewed as the bastion of so-called “real” antiques, with Boston, Philadelphia, Newport and the like getting most of the glory for […]

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  • 3
    May

Secondary Woods – Used For Economy But Also Used To Mislead

  In almost any conversation or article regarding older or antique furniture, sooner or later the terms “primary” wood and “secondary” wood or woods appear. Why is there a distinction between types of wood used in furniture construction and can the different woods in a piece be used to help identify period or style of […]

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  • 28
    Mar

Use the Screws to Help Identify the Age of Your Furniture

One of the most overlooked and least understood clues in establishing the date and authenticity of older and antique furniture is the story that screws can tell about the history of a piece. Screws are relative newcomers to the production of furniture primarily because they are so hard to make by hand. But as the […]

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  • 14
    Mar

Who Really Made It? Outsourcing in the American Furniture Industry

One if the most frequently asked questions about a piece of older and antique furniture is, “who made it?” That seems to be a reasonable question, along with the other basic inquiries of “how old is it?” and “what is it worth?” But that first question is almost always the most difficult to answer and […]

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  • 8
    Mar

Using the ‘Old Stuff’ – Enjoy Your Treasures

Two of the more common comments I hear about antiques, especially with regard to furniture, are along the lines of “I don’t want to do anything to destroy the value” and “I like antiques but you can’t use them on a regular basis or they will wear out.” As Col. Potter of the TV show […]

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  • 14
    Feb

Furniture Devolved: Pieces that have Out-Lived their Usefulness

A little more than five years ago I wrote about certain types of furniture forms that had evolved in response to social needs rather than physical comfort considerations or stylistic demands. Included in that list of new ideas from various periods were the tea caddy or teapoy that were built in response to England’s 17th- […]

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