• 20 Jun
    2011

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
    2011

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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  • 18 May
    2011

Ask A Worthologist Question: Imperial Clock

Arnold H. bought this clock thinking it was a late 19th-century French example. Its previous owner didn’t know much about it, as it had been purchased as an antique by a great aunt, now passed on. Now, Arnold suspects the clock is not as old as it first appeared, so he contacted WorthPoint’s “Ask a […]

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  • 10 May
    2011

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
    2011

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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  • 11 Apr
    2011

Tough Turns – Getting Reluctant Screws to Give Up

In a previous column (Use the Screws to Help Identify the Age of Your Furniture), I recanted the history of screw making and how to identify them. The best way to identify a screw is to take it out and look at it. But sometimes that’s a whole lot easier said than done, especially if […]

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  • 28 Mar
    2011

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
    2011

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
    2011

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
    2011

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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