Dating old furniture
set the standards for virtually all wood chair manufacturers until the present day.
More reproductions have been made of mid-18th C chairs than any other period.
Thomas Chippendales "Gentleman and Cabinet Makers Director", published in three editions (1754, 1755 and1762) had a major influence on mid-18th C. In as much as he applied popular Rocco, Chinoiserie and Gothic design motifs to already fashionable shapes for both grand and simple household furniture. Chair makers at all levels - London, provincial and country adapted and modified their designs to suit their own skills, and their customers tastes and pockets.
Country versions are instantly identifiable when made in woods than Mahogany.
Often less well proportioned, much simpler in design with splats with little or no carving.
The methods employed by London makers of the mid-18th C.
Another way of dating furniture is by looking at the design of the legs and feet of tables, chairs etc.
from the "cup and cover" of the Elizabethan furniture, most notable on the four poster and tester beds of the period, to the sweeping shape of the sabre legs from the Regency period.
Generally not so refined as the classical 18th C originals.Bracket and Bun feet are also a useful indicator of a period, when found on Chests of various designs.All types of handle designs were used to decorate further, pieces of furniture such as drawers, doors etc.Usually in brass attached with bolts and circular nuts (fitted with a special tool) until about 1770; after that they became square.
Modern reproductions tend to be smaller and narrower than the originals enabling them to fit in with the smaller dining rooms of todays houses.A noticeable point when looking at a genuine 18th C chair is the generous size of the seat, its much wider than todays reproductions.