Date that nail head...

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by Phil Harrison, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Phil Harrison

    Phil Harrison Active Member

    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  2. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

  3. Phil Harrison

    Phil Harrison Active Member

  4. say_it_slowly

    say_it_slowly The worst prison is a closed heart

    So French furniture tacks from the 18th C?
     
  5. Phil Harrison

    Phil Harrison Active Member

    That’s the plan, yes. I’m thinking I can see some hand beaten nail heads and square shank holes. Piece could have been reupholstered at least once, of course.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  6. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Small nails and tacks are notoriously difficult to date. Here is a post from a Conservation discussion group that outlines the problem:
    http://cool.conservation-us.org/byform/mailing-lists/cdl/1999/1121.html
    Please note, judging by the context I think the writer left out important words in the 3rd paragraph (my interpretation is in brackets):
    "While one may be able to visually identify the technique of
    manufacture, it is, in my opinion, [not possible] to date the when a small nail or
    tack was made or used."
     
  7. Phil Harrison

    Phil Harrison Active Member

    I see, well that’s useful to know, in any case. I guess that means we can at least say that there’s nothing actually precluding them from dating to pre-1800. Better than a ‘definitely not.’ Can I ask, do you have a view on them?
     
  8. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    No, I do not have a lot of direct experience with antique upholstery nails. From the multiple holes in the frame, it looks like it has been reupholstered a number of times. As David Goist explained, I think there are just too many variables for the nails to be a determinative piece of evidence. It seems the type of wood and the method of construction would be more informative.
     
  9. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    True, not that it matters anymore as OP went nite nite but, you can buy hand forged iron nails today made just like in the 17th century, ditto tacks for upholstery in both iron & brass.
    This is why you can't use hardware or nails exclusively to date old furniture, the piece has to be examined as a "whole".
     
  10. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    I took a day of classes at a local restoration years ago. One of the classed was with an itinerant blacksmith, he taught me how to make nails :)
     
  11. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Me either but, you can buy them brand new made the same as 17th-18th centuries.
    C179-dome-mount-500x500.png
    A large domed upholstery pin copied from an original dating from the early 1700's

    C180-flat-mount-500x500.png
    This pin is one taken from a plain round 17th century example originating from a Jacobean leather-covered side chair.
    A265-escutcheon-pins-500x500.png

    A stick of larger escutcheon pins of two sizes. Copied from period originals found on a Queen Anne leather trunk. (tiny brass nails you snip off the "stick")

    9 Pins with Heads Approx: 1/8″ (3mm)

    6 Pins with Heads Approx: 3/16″ (5mm)
     
  12. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Neat, i am impressed!

     
  13. Marie Forjan

    Marie Forjan Well-Known Member

    We also made a beef rib roast dinner in an open hearth. The organizers were very impressed when I knew how to make boiled coffee (campers coffee with an egg in it). Sounds gross but it makes wonderful coffee :)
     
  14. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
     
    kyratango, judy and Any Jewelry like this.
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