approx age of old mantel?

blufishSeptember 1, 2009

wondering how old this might be? It was given - yes given!!! - to us and the unbelievably generous couple that it came from are just curious about the age of it. We have the perfect place for it and are tickled to death. We could never afford to purchase a mantel this fine and still can hardly believe it!!


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oops, here's the pic I can add a close up if it helps

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 11:37PM
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Lucky you!! I'd say 1900, give or take 15 years.
Linda C

    Bookmark   September 1, 2009 at 11:53PM
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It's Edwardian in style, C1905-1920.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 12:44AM
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Can you identify the house from which this came? That would be a big help. It is probably the same age as that house. The house may be gone by now, but the land is not. Building and tax records can identify when this house was in use.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 1:21AM
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oh, are you lucky! That's a beauty! I like jemdandy's idea, tax records are easy to search at the County recorder's/auditor's office. Mantels like those often turn up in a particular antique shop in my area (I think he seeks them out, purchasing from older homes in Chicago being demo'd), they cost multiple $thousands$ !

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 7:16AM
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That style mantle is so typical of the circa 1900 era that I wouldn't even bother looking for the house it came from.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 11:17AM
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Thanks everyone! The mantel didn't come from the original house at this point. Our niece and her husband saved it from a very run down 1950's era farmhouse in Alberta that they tore down. The old lady that lived there previously said she thought it came from an old hotel that was demolished in Calgary many years ago so it's had at least 2 lives. We are SO pleased to have it here, thank goodness they saved it

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 1:38PM
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I think LindaC is real close on her age approximation.
No matter what it's age is --- you have one beautiful mantel there.
Here's my little bit of advice -- treat it with the utmost care as there is alot ov veneered parts on this item. For example -- those round posts are caated in Quarter-sawn oak veneer. It is physically impossible to have a solid post with that grain pattern continuing up and around a post without being a veneer-- OAK DOES NOT GROW THAT WAY!!
With that thought in mind -- if you do not ever choose to restore/refinish it (given what I see -- DON'T) keep the wood well "lubed" up -- in other words -- don't let it dry out -- as the glue that holds the veneer on will dry as well --then the veneer will start to loosen. Speak to someone in your area that really knows wood care and get their advice on keeping it from drying out. Better yet get several opinions. Do not take the advice of some young whippersnappers in the big box stores.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 6:54PM
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My next-door neighbor has "virtually the same" mantel. Hers is grained, from the factory. I dare'nt tell her of that fact. So, be really careful if you refinish it that you don't turn your quartersawn oak mantel into a poplar mantel. Of course, you may have the real thing; it's a super find either way.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 7:15PM
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To clear up what the previous poster means--- "imitation grain -- painted on with dark inks ang graining rollers. Many times -- years ago in the old catalogs one could buy "oak furniture one of three or four ways. Solid quarter -sawn, quarter -sawn real veneer, quarter sawn "imitation" grain and lastly solid oak (not quarter sawn. Like the previous poster said -- stripper will erase any grain -- and like they said they usually have a mixture of poplar and gum as their base woods.
I have never seen a imitation grain mantel-- but anything is and was possible!

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 8:54PM
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great info Mark & Casey, thanks very much. I have an old maple dresser of my great grandmas that has that graining, it looks pretty neat. How do I tell on this mantel? It really looks like oak to me but it has red paint on most of the back and is hard to tell what is below the finish. I don't plan to refinish it but there is some water damage(?) to the on the curved piece above the opening. The PO's also did some cutting at the bottom to make something fit I guess. Any suggestions what to do with either?

    Bookmark   September 2, 2009 at 10:49PM
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It's real. Niiiiice!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 7:24PM
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yahoo! thanks Casey!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 10:04PM
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From what I am GUESSING from the picts -- It looks like it is a mixture of veneer and solid woods. I think I see wood (veneer)of the same grain under the finish that is missing. Please understand -- my "guess" is from the picts only. These are only guesses only!!!! the "cut-outs" you picture could be hidden easily. With all the missing varnish (or whatever the finish was) this piece is veeery susceptable to the drying out I spoke of in a previous post.
Still a nice mantel -- good luck with it!!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2009 at 10:46PM
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