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The Late Classicism style of the 1830s and 1840s used almost no brass hardware and Rococo Revival and Renaissance Revival used very little.
It was only in the Eastlake period in the 1880s that brass hardware became important again.
The following are several of these suppliers that have a brick and mortar location as well as an online presence.
In the past, finding original hardware for antique furniture has often been challenging and frustrating experience.
Another innovation of the Federal period was the reversing of the bail (the handle).
In the Queen Anne period, the bail was inserted into the round heads of posts implanted in the backplate.
(Photo courtesy Fred Taylor) So, if the hardware is the right style, looks appropriate for the piece and could very well be as old as the piece, how can you tell?
The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the faces were polished.These exquisite pieces are made in old brass and are completely accurate in every detail including a patina that is 200 years old.Their reproduction hardware is offered in antique or polished brass.Over the years you can bet that not every time that hardware was cleaned some industrious soul removed it from the drawer. 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.
It is important for those interested in antique furniture to be aware of the types and styles of hardware used on a specific piece including the material and design.