Chest of drawers again

someone2010March 11, 2010

I posted this picture on Woodworking, but I thought I would post it here and give you a question to consider. This is a serpent front Queen Ann chest of drawers I built. What construction detail is a giveaway that it is not an antique cleaned up? Take a guess. it's ok if you're wrong and you might point out something I don't know.

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No patina!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 2:24AM
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Good guess and that is correct but there is a structural difference.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 3:46AM
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two hardware questions that I have that I can't quite tell from your pic: Do you have functioning locks? Are the brasses finished/filed by hand?
Another giveaway would be drawer detail such as dovetails and handplaned bottoms. I would look at back and bottom of the case, does it look aged?
You've made a beautiful chest to be proud of.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 9:14AM
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The beading on the edges of the drawers appears to be applied.....and there is no evidence of that imperceptible waviness that comes from hand planing and sanding. The top loose like Formica.
And the brasses are out of proportion with the size of the piece.
But as they say....I wouldn't kick it's beautiful!
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 9:24AM
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No keyholes.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 12:22PM
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My guess is that that there would usually be another cross-rail under the top board; it looks like there isn't one on this one. Nice job, though.
Weren't the rail joints usually sliding dovetails or blind dado joints? I can see your dado joint plays through to the front.
Sometimes period pieces had surprisingly different top/side overlaps, either more or less than the front. Yours seems uniform.
Stripey mahogany wasn't used on originals. It would have been flat-grained solid wood, or flame veneers. Yours isn't San Domingo mahogany, either. ;-)
Again, Kudos or a very respectable piece.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 2:49PM
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All of you made very good guesses. There may be more clues but the one giveaway is; the rails are dovetailed into the cabinet. The dovetails are visible when you look at front, on the edges. This is frenquently done by contempary makers to display their craftmanship. The old timers always hid their joints. Some of your other guesses were quite good. The beading is not applied. There are no locks, I couldn't afford that, but the pulls are exactly correct. They come from Ball and Ball who makes authentic replicas and the size is correct although sometimes they are smaller. The finish is lacquer. The sides and top are one single board as would have been done by the old timers, not several joined together. The questions about drawer construction are very good but I didn't show that. The sides of the drawers are also mahagony with hand cut dovetails. The old timers would have used a secondary wood. I have a picture of that I could post if you like. Guess I should have dusted the saw dust off before I took the pictures. Thank you for guessing. You are all pretty good. By the way, there is evidence of plane work. I had to fair the drawers (curve) with a spoke shave. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2010 at 3:41PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Another lovely piece! Enjoyed the quiz, too.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 5:20PM
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Thank you very much. Lot of knowledgeable people here. Especially LindaC and Casey. Have to be a good fake to slip one by on them. I'd like to do more quizes but I'm afraid some people might find it tedious. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 10:41PM
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Not tedious at all, I'd love to see more!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 11:03AM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Aw, if they find it tedious, they just won't play! Go ahead!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2010 at 3:28PM
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That's very interesting about the dovetail joints showing in the front. I had a table made by a local craftsman and wondered why his dovetails on the drawers showed. I'm really glad to find out.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 1:07PM
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I'm not sure what you mean but the sliding dovetail joints I'm talking about are where the rails are joined to the side of the chest. The dovetail joints on the drawers are not visible unless you open the drawer. What Casey says is correct. If the rails are dadoed into the side of the chest then it is blind. If sliding dovetail is used, then it is sometimes visible. If your guy used through dovetails on the drawers, then that is a design option he chose. If you can, show us a picture.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2010 at 11:02PM
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