Dating hardware

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The problem with using style to establish the construction date of country and primitive furniture is that regional styles remained unchanged for most of the 19th century.Unable to use style, dealers and collectors have turned to the telltale signs left on the furniture itself by tools and by construction methods.Up-and-down saws left vertical, crisp uniform marks and were used from 1700 to the 1860s.

To determine age, consider the form and function, tool marks, construction techniques, and materials used in the furniture. Pit saws, used from roughly the 1600s to 1750, left irregular, slanted, deep rough marks.Sometimes a collector may come across a lovely piece that appears to have all of its drawer pulls, hinges, keyhole escutcheons or other hardware intact.However, further investigation shows the hardware is not an appropriate match to the piece. Turns out, there’s more to it than you might think (and yes, it’s intentional).When PNP ranks drivers, it first looks at the hardware ID that the driver matches.If any two drivers match identical hardware, Zac notes, the first tiebreaker is the date of the driver.

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