How To Tell The Age Of An Antique Armoire

Tips From Your Antique Furniture Experts In Toronto

Before the creation of closets, armoires were a necessary piece of furniture in homes. In fact, it was not until the 20th century that builders started to create bigger, more accommodating closets. While these days a closet is considered adequate storage, armoires are still one of the more sought-after antiques in Toronto.

Buying Antiques—Why Age Matters

Carrocel French 19th Century ArmoireIf you are in the market for an antique armoire, you need to know as much about the piece as possible. It helps you not only determine the value, but also the cultural age when it was made, the style, and most importantly, the history that goes along with an iconic piece of furniture.

There are some indicators that make it easier to determine the age of your antique furniture. Some factors to consider:

  • The Type Of Wood – Many antique pieces were constructed out of multiple types of wood. You may notice the bottoms or backs are made of the cheapest types, because these are not seen. Antique armoires that are original are typically made from multiple types of wood, while reproductions use a single type.
  • Carvings – Antique armoires were made by hand; therefore, they will have unique carvings in the wood. Run your fingertips along the carvings and look for signs of uneven finishes or bumps; this indicates it is truly an antique.
  • Shrinkage Or Darkening Of The Wood – Wood naturally shrinks and warps with age. The color of the wood darkens as well. Reproductions will not have these types of flaws.
  • Hardware – The hardware, including hinges, knobs and handles, should show signs of patina (a greenish discoloration caused from oxidation and age). The wood surrounding the hardware should also be darkened from the same oxidation.
  • Tool Marks – Circular saws were not used to craft antique armoires; therefore, the sanded surfaces should be uneven and you should see straight, yet slightly uneven saw marks.
  • Nails And Screws – Antiques that were constructed during the 1700’s will have hand-forged screws and nails. From 1790 to 1890, precut nails were used and it was not until 1880 that machine-produced nails were used.

Carrocel furniture store builds, restores and sells authentic antique armoires and furniture pieces. When looking for antiques in Toronto, you want to work with an antique dealer that not only supplies you with a quality piece, but can tell you the age and history of that piece.

Stop by Carrocel and see the fine antique furniture store. Visit or call us today at 416-999-2525.

11 Response(s) for “How To Tell The Age Of An Antique Armoire

  • Virginia Malcolm says:

    I have an elaborately-carved armoire that was made in 1806 by Joseph Besnard, likely of cherry or other fruitwood. Do you buy such pieces and/or sell them on consignment?

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Thank you for your interest Virginia. Unfortunately we do not purchase furniture privately or offer consignment services. You may want to consider restoration options to perhaps revitalize or modernize your piece!

  • Casey Speaks says:

    Hi I have bern trying to figure out what kind of armoire I have and cant seem to find anything. I was wondering if there was anyway you could help me in finding out more about it and a general price range. I have had it for sometime now any help would be very much appreciated thank you for you time.

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Hello Casey, please email us some photos and we can take a look!

      Thank you.

  • Lisa Brouillard says:

    I have an Armoire that I have searched searched for any info and have come up with nothing. I really would information on it. Can you help? Age Style type from where?

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Thank you for your post. Please email photos to and we can take a look!

  • Mary Jo Walsh says:

    I have a four door ( four pieces along with several drawers) armoire. It has what I believe to be hand carved panels
    8 in each door panel. The bottom piece is the frame setting that hold the 2 separate units and then the top holds them all together. On the one side, the 2 doors open to a hanging rod
    And on the other side, open to a shelf above 4 or 5 drawers) My Mother used it for a television ( so there is a hole thru the back) I bought the armoire at an auction in Atlanta Ga. In 1976. I have no idea of the age, but I recall an uncle telling my Mom that it had quite a value. The top has an unusual chinking along the edge. My husband would like me to get ride of it due to it’s large size & I have been paying for storage monthly. I took several photos, may I email them, in order of hopeful knowledge of value?

  • Steve R Miller says:

    I recently purchased an antique armoire off of Letgo app for $300. I would like to know if there is any way I can find any information about when it was made.

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Thats great! You can try finding more about your piece researching key terms or names associated with your armoire online. You can also attempt to find a furniture appraiser that can do the research for you to value and find info about your piece. Best of luck with your research!

  • Kathy says:

    I was given a armoire, one side has drawers the other opens like a door. Looks like it has the original hardware. Sides A.A. d top are rounded. I have no idea what it actually is. Maybe you could give me an idea.

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Hello Kathy, very nice to get gifted an armoire! Unfortunately we do not offer researching services for pieces other than our own. You can try taking a photo and using google image search or browsing online websites such as 1st dibs or ebay to find something that looks similar. Best of luck!

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