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You can order them online or pick them up from a store near you. And it doesn’t have to be a 200-year-old antique chest for the hardware to make a difference. Today the discussion is just on determining the originality of hardware.
Since changing or altering hardware is one of the quickest and cheapest ways of improving the look of an otherwise-bland piece, the pulls are always suspect, especially if they look really good. Early 18th century hardware was cast from molten brass using molds made of sand. This type of hardware is easy to recognize because it often has “inclusions” from the sand itself in the brass, either grains of sand or odd colors from impurities. The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the faces were polished. Around the middle of the 18th century the customary blend of copper and zinc was changed to include more copper, giving the alloy more of a reddish cast than the pale yellow brass used for hardware earlier in the century. And by 1780, rolled brass sheets were available so that each piece of hardware could be cut or stamped rather than having to be cast.
This greatly reduced the cost and increased the availability and uniformity of late 18th century drawer pulls and escutcheons. No longer did decorative pulls have to be engraved or chased individually. The ends of the bail entered the posts from the inside and the bail hung between the two posts. But much of that became moot as time rolled on. The post at the top is handmade from the early 19th century. Note the rough texture and the shallow, flat treads. The post on the bottom is a machine made post from the mid-20th century with a smooth surface and perfect threads. Over the years you can bet that not every time that hardware was cleaned some industrious soul removed it from the drawer. The same is true each time the piece got waxed. If the finish was waxed or the brass cleaned while the pull was in place, there will be some residue around the edge of the brass. The build up of wax or the overflow of brass cleaner will be evident. Its absence could mean the piece was meticulously maintained or that it has just been deeply cleaned or even refinished. A quick peek inside the drawer might show the presence of holes that once accommodated the fasteners for hardware other than the current resident. The hardware of a 17th century piece would have been held in place by clinched cotter pins on the inside. If there is evidence of that but the current fasteners have threaded posts and nuts, something has been altered. And the threaded posts of an 18th century piece would have been hand cut and the nuts were usually round. If machine-made threads and octagonal machine-made nuts are visible, something’s up. As a last resort, if possible, remove the existing hardware from the drawer front. Carefully examine the wood and the finish revealed when the brass is gone. Is there a shadow of another size or differently shaped piece of hardware?
Your best tool is knowledge of what the correct hardware looked like for each style and period in which you have an interest.
I have yet to find a book or source that deals with this narrow subject, so as you read related antiques materials, you just have to mentally catalog what hardware looks like for a given period style. Among the first products featured in our catalogs were hardware items such as knobs, pulls, hinges and table and drawer slides. Almost sixty years later, we offer one of the widest selections of hardware you can find.
Economical euro roller slides and smooth-operating ball-bearing slides. Slides that mount on the sides of the drawers and slides that mount underneath, out of sight. Slides with 3/4 extension, full extension and over-travel capacity. Slides that can lend your project a certain “wow factor” by opening with just a touch, closing softly on their own or doing both.
We also offer specialized jigs to make installation a breeze. We’ve got specialty hinges for small boxes, hinges that will close a cabinet door softly and hinges made specifically for shutters.
We also offer specialized lighting products, an array of fasteners and a large selection of project hardware. Whatever you’re working on, we have the hardware to make your project shine. Our hardware is not just historically “inspired” – it is historically accurate.
We have an extensive selection of hard-to-find hardware that we continue to grow year by year.
We started with hardware for traditional furniture, and in more recent years have expanded our line to include builders’ hardware that retains the authentic look of old houses while improving functionality.
We believe that our hardware should not just match the look of the traditional and antique hardware, but also operate to modern standards. The inventory is available now-with much available at substantial discounts. All the part numbers you are familiar with will remain the same. Add a exquisite style to your doors with this antique-like hardware set. Why not have guests announce their arrival at your house with vintage antique hardware, like a door knocker?
Use vintage kitchen hardware, like brass handles on cabinets and glass drawer pull knobs. The good thing about vintage antique hardware is that it can give your kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom a new look without a major renovation. Swap out the standard handles on your dresser for art deco pieces in white or other bright colors.
Amerock By Category Cabinet Hardware
Use a set of vintage hooks to hold coats or keys near the front door. Small, simple touches add elegance to your home and make it stand out from others. Using the 18th century craftsman as our guide we carefully recreate the expertise of that period. The fireplace was the most important area in early houses and served many uses. Necessity led to many accessories being made for the fireplace.
We can duplicate almost any fixture that you may desire. Purveyors of the finest brass and iron hardware available. Our customer service is unsurpassed and equals the range and quality of our hardware.
We carry a full range of hardware for furniture and home. Iron hardware available in rusted and patinated surfaces, black iron forged pieces. Solid brass hardware is available in polished or antiqued finishes, as well as a range of plated surfaces such as polished or satin nickel, and chrome.
Find antique furniture hardware to easily restore worn heirlooms. From kitchen cabinet hinges to icebox hinges and from cabinet latches to catches we have and wide variety of vintage decorative hardware. Find period cabinet and furniture hardware. Browse classic cabinet knobs and pulls like traditional bail pulls, ring pulls and cup pulls. Shop restoration hardware for all your renovation needs. Buy drawer pulls, cabinet knobs and pulls, and glass knobs of all kinds.
Find a variety of cabinet hinges, butt hinges, surface hinges, cabinet catches and furniture latches. Get hard-to-find icebox hardware, antique furniture hardware, keyhole covers and keyhole escutcheons available in your choice of finishes.