Castors are attached to home furnishings in order to make housekeeping and rearranging easier. But apart from these, do you know that castor wheels help antique collectors in estimating the age of furniture? By simply examining the type and characteristics of the castors, experts are able to identify the time range in which they are manufactured. This allows antique dealers and collectors to price the furniture appropriately.
Nonetheless, even non-experts like you can also date furniture using this same method. This article will show you how to do it. Just follow the simple instructions listed below:
Step 1: Look for a Leathern Roller or Bowl
The earliest kinds of castor wheels are made of leathern rollers or bowls. These castors are attached to furniture manufacture in the early 1700's during the time of Queen Anne.
Step 2: Inspect if the Castor is made of Wood
During the great Georgian period (1720 to 1760), furniture manufacturers began to make furniture with wooden wheels. The wheels are attached to an iron frame that is mounted at the foot of the furniture.
Step 3: Examine if the Castors is made of Cast Iron
For almost a decade after the Georgian period, manufacturers started to produce furniture with castors made from cast iron. Although wooden castors are still manufactured, most of the surviving furniture made during this era which is available in antique stores nowadays has cast iron wheels instead of wood.
Step 4: Check if the Castor is made of solid Brass
The furniture may still indicate that it is manufactured during the Georgian period, however, if it has solid brass castor wheels, then it means that it is manufactured anywhere between 1780 and 1790. The entire Georgian period (starting from 1750 to 1830) is in fact called the “Golden Age of Furniture” because it is during this era that majority of the innovation on furniture had been introduced to the public.
Step 5: See if the Castor is made of Rubber or Polyurethane
These castor wheels are manufactured in modern times. Thus, it is possible that the wheels of the antique furniture that you are eyeing on have already been replaced.
Warnings and Tips
Be reminded that castors are easily replaceable. This means that you should not base your assessment of the furniture's age on the castors alone since it is possible that the wheels are only replaced so as to give the impression that the furniture are as old as it is. If you are not confident or if you do not trust your antique dealer, might as well get a second or third opinion from someone who you think is trustworthy. Do not forget that the antique industry is filled with scammers and opportunists who are only waiting for you to fall into their traps.