T: At one time seating reflected social status and in the Middle Ages only the head of a household had a chair, while everyone else sat on benches or stools. During the 17th century, chairs were made with upholstered seats. Most sets of dining chairs date from after From the mid 18th century onwards fashions for seatings were established by the designs of the leading furniture makers such as Thomas Chippendale, George Hepplewhite and Thomas Sheraton.
Anne has a bachelor's in K art education and a master's in visual art and design. She currently works at a living history museum in Colorado. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Without casters , nothing would move. Grocery carts couldn't be pushed, hospital workers couldn't wheel their gurneys, and wheelchairs wouldn't go anywhere. Everything would have to be pushed or pulled.
In the 18th century, carpet and other floor coverings were in much less general use than in the 20th century and as such, floor care did not consist of carpet sweeping so much as the mopping of wooden or stone floors. Brass casters and forks or porcelain wheels served as lifts to keep the furniture off the floors during mopping so if the piece did get wet, it was the brass wheels and not the wood that had to deal with the moisture. The small wheels also were useful in moving heavier pieces small distances around the floor for cleaning purposes. But that was then, and things are different now.
Looking at the joinery, or the way a piece of antique furniture is put together, will provide many clues that help in determining the age. But there are a number of other factors to consider as well, including the tools that were used to craft a piece and what the individual components look like. Examining these elements individually, as well as furniture pieces in their entirety, will help you learn to correctly date them. Looking at the bottom or back of a piece, or inside its doors and drawers, can provide important clues about whether or not a piece of old furniture was machine cut or crafted by hand.