Humans only began to make furniture when they started to settle in a fixed place.
our current coverage is on English antiques, but this
translates well into the American styles.
Those who decide to collect American antiques need to consider a number of points. Will they only collect pieces from the United States or does the interest include the rest of North America including native American, Mexican, and Spanish objects.
THE OAK AGE (1540-1660)
THE WALNUT AGE (1660-1730)
THE MAHOGANY AGE (1730- 1840)
VICTORIAN AGE (1830- 1901)
AMERICAN ANTIQUE FURNITURE
The oldest known piece of American furniture is assigned to Thomas
Mulninert. It is certain that this joiner worked between 1639 and 1650 in the colony of New Haven. The trade of cabinet maker became more commonplace from 1680 onwards.
It is generally easy to ascertain if wooden object from the seventeenth century was made in America or Europe, because the Americans had
different types of wood available to them.
Sturdy and lasting furniture was made with walnut and ash. The only timber that needed to be imported was mahogany that was extremely popular, between 1730 and
1840 for the elegant Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Sheraton, and American Empire styles. Mahogany was imported from Haiti and Santo Domingo.
Furniture of the Pilgrim era is generally characterized by proportions which give it a rather heavy appearance. Most of the joints are held together with wooden pegs. Main ornamentation is carved relief. Most pieces are made of oak or pine. Authentic seventeenth century American antique furniture is extremely rare. Buyers need to make sure the piece is neither newer or imported from Europe. Many Pilgrim style pieces have been heavily restored, particularly the legs and table leaves. Ornaments and rungs have often been replaced.
William and Mary (1700-1730)
The dovetail joint was widely used in the William and Mary era. Wood carving in high relief. The pieces of furniture are generously proportioned and contrasting
surfaces. The use of lacquer, veneer, orate moldings, and bun feet are characteristic. The main types of wood used are walnut, maple, and pine.
Queen Anne (1725-1755)
Queen Anne furniture is characterized by refined scrolled form. The lacquered! furniture has cabriole legs and hooped seats. The most
widely used types of wood were walnut, cherry, and mahogany. Most American Queen Anne is reproduction and it is quite common to find the bottom of a tall chest of drawers reworked to make a dressing table. Genuine Queen Anne chests are extremely rare and to be found only in museums.
Chippendale style furniture is characterized by Chinese motifs, Gothic
arches, 'C' and 'S' form scrolls, and claw and ban feet. The center part of chair backs are
woven. Chippendale style furniture is almost exclusively mahogany and that from the southern states is often lore highly ornamented.