Identifying Antique Dresser Styles (With Pictures)

Do you also have a love for antique furniture but don’t have the skills to identify which piece is antique and would be perfect for your home? Then, you have come to the right place.

In this age and time where furniture is modernized and systemized, antique furniture has become a desire for many people to bring a touch of timeliness to their homes.

Among commonly sought antique furniture, an antique dresser is one of the popular furniture items that can make a strong statement, capture the eye, and set the mood of the room.

Let’s explore some of the famous antique dresser styles, how to identify antique dressers as well as some convenient places to look for antique dressers.

Antique Dresser Styles

To find the perfect antique dresser, you first need to understand what antique furniture really means and why it is given such precedence in interior designing by different designers and home decorators.

Antique furniture is not only visually pleasing but also entails secrets of past ages embedded into it. Antique pieces of furniture are inherited or preserved for hundreds of years, sometimes longer, which also makes them significant historically.

At present, there is an increasing demand for antique pieces, especially after popular historical shows like Bridgerton created an enticement to connect back to Victorian lifestyle.

Antique dressers are a perfect furniture item in this regard as they are a convenient item carrying both a touch of history, as well as the ability to add character to the room.

Identifying Antique Dresser Styles

The field of antique furniture identification is one that encompasses many different aspects. Also, it might be stressful and confusing to someone who is just starting out in the antique furniture world.

The majority of antique dressers you’ll find date back to the Victorian era or later, in part because bedrooms in the 18th century lacked the same kinds of furnishings as those found today.

With the placement of antique dressers, the look of your whole room, whether it is the living room, bedroom, or bathroom, changes. The style of a dresser is a big factor in how it will change the look of your room.

Antique dressers with mirrors, also known as “bureauare also an important part of giving your room the aesthetic look of coziness and warmth. This is an antique dresser with mirror value because it gives the room a timely substance, and character that is not achievable with modern designs.

Given below are different styles that are famously sought among antique dressers. An understanding of these antique dresser designs will help you in finding exactly what you need to amp your homes.

The Queen Anne style Antique Dressers

The Queen Anne style Antique Dressers
The Queen Anne style Antique Dressers

For decades, Queen Anne furniture was popular in both England and the United States. Queen Anne furniture was created in the United States until the 1800s and became popular during the colonial era.

One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Queen Anne furniture is the cabriole leg, which has a convex upper portion and a concave bottom portion and is finished with either a claw-and-ball or pad foot. They were mostly made from walnut, cherry, or maple wood.

Sheraton Style Antique

Sheraton Style Antique
Sheraton Style Antique

Sheraton Dressers were popular from the late 1700s till the early 1820s. Although they were mostly famous in England, this style was also adopted by American colonies into their furniture designs.

In contrast to other designs, the Sheraton dresser comprises straight legs with a rectangular spadefoot, a cylindrical foot, or a tapered arrow foot. To learn more about Sheraton’s dresser style, you can refer to the pioneer of Sheraton dressers, Thomas Sheraton’s book The Cabinet-Maker, Upholsterer and General Artist’s Encyclopedia, published in 1805.

Victorian Style Dressers

Victorian Style Dressers
Victorian Style Dressers

Dressers in the Victorian era were often only three drawers in size, making them appear fragile and petit. In proto-vanity style, the dresser’s torso was often supported by legs and topped with a mirror.

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Victorian-style dressers have evolved over the ages with variations in its design and aesthetics. Victorian style is recognized for its modesty, privacy, and orderliness, whilst Queen Anne style emphasizes refinement and grace. However, sometimes the Victorian style is criticized for being over-adorned.

Antique Dresser Source:

Later Victorian dressers had marble tops, while others displayed the intricate carvings that were popular at the time. Until the 1920s, Victorian-style dressers were widely produced, but cultural developments prompted a shift in design that gave rise to the Art Deco style.

Edwardian style dresser

Edwardian style dresser
Edwardian style dresser

The Edwardian style dresser is named after the Edwardian or Victorian era in which it was created! These antique dressers feature a bevelled mirror and mahogany woodwork for stability.

The use of a variety of different styles and designs rather than a singular one is a common characteristic of Edwardian furniture. This is because, during the Edwardian era, furniture producers strove to bring back styles from previous periods while also introducing new components into their work.

Edwardian furniture has a lighter aesthetic than its dark, heavy, and overly ornate Victorian counterparts. The wood used in these dressers is mainly mahogany with a total of 5-6 drawers mostly of which are divided into two sections on either side with one or two in the center.

French provincial Dresser

French provincial Dresser
French provincial Dresser Source: Etsy

French Provincial Dresser was made in the 18th century in the provinces and smaller French cities. The pieces were frequently simplified and made more inexpensive copies of the ornate Rococo furniture that had been crafted for the royalty in Paris.

The French Provincial design style incorporates elements of Rococo, rustic, and French countryside style. Cabriole legs and simple scalloped carving are prominent aspects of French provincial furniture.

In addition to the scroll carving, this antique dresser is also coated in a light walnut wood finish. These dressers give a very sophisticated look to a space, whether it is a bedroom or living room.

Rococo style Dressers

Rococo style Dressers

In certain circles, the Rococo style is referred to as “late Baroque.” Rococo is a style of design that originated in the 18th century when painters began to place less emphasis on symmetry and grew more extravagant, floral, and whimsical. It is the most fashionable antique from the 18th century.

These antique and vintage dressers are characterized by more curved and plasticized versions of the Eastern style. The dresser is devoid of any straight planes. They simply made the top cover, which was flat but had wavy borders.

In most cases, marble was employed in the production process of the dresser. The walls also have several bends in every direction, making them appear inflated.

All surfaces of the furniture were decorated, regardless of the design. The look was created to awe and impress the viewer at first glance. In addition to the C-scroll and scrolled foliage, floral motifs and ribbons were frequently used to create trophies-like designs.

Shaker Dressers

Shaker Dressers
Shaker Dressers

Shaker dressers originated in late18th to the mid-19th century. Developed under a religious sect, The Shaking Quakers, the shaker designs are highly minimalistic and functional.

These antique dressers can be identified by their round wooden knobs, tapered legs, and subtle curves. It’s because of these details that shaker furniture has such a classic, soft appearance. Many modern shaker pieces are made of pine, maple, cherry, or other American woods.

Shaker furniture is known for having drawers that are larger at the bottom and smaller at the top. For heavy objects, the bottom of the drawer is the best place to keep them. As a result, it’s a natural lure for the viewer to glance upward.

When it comes to furnishings, “form follows function” is perfectly embodied in the dresser.

Art Deco Dressers

Art Deco Dressers
Art Deco Dressers Source: Pamono

Originated from 1920s Paris, sleek lines, delicate curves, and the use of contemporary materials were all hallmarks of Art Deco design. The Art Deco furniture was mostly designed to be sold to the high society and to highlight the modernization of the society.

Art Deco furniture presents reverence for machine modernity and the intrinsic design traits of machine-made items, such as relative simplicity, planarity, symmetry, and unvarying repetition of parts.

In Art Deco, geometric or stylized ornaments such as florals, animals, and sun rays, as well as man-made substances like plastics, vita-glasses, reinforced concrete, and tri fold mirror are often used in conjunction with natural materials such as jade, silver, ivory, and chrome in order to achieve a “streamlined” look.

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The dressers were designed with smooth edges and a clean line detailing around the drawers and handles to match this new modern style. To attain a lustrous appearance, Japanese lacquer was frequently utilized in Art Deco furniture.

Designers of the age often used pricey materials such as ivory, wrought iron, and glass in their work. These antique dressers, because of such luxurious material give a highly rich look and are a very sophisticated mix for the styling of the room.

Mid-century Modern Dresser

Mid-century Modern Dresser
Mid-century Modern Dresser Source: Pickedvintage

Modern Dressers from the mid-20th century were characterized by its organic shapes, soft curves, and clean lines. As its name suggests, Mid-Century Modern furniture was first popularized in the mid-20th century, but its graceful simplicity and ageless appeal have made it a popular choice in contemporary home design.

Teak is the wood most commonly associated with mid-century modern design. Teak was a popular choice for tables, desks, and storage because of its rich, dark color, durability, and status as a symbol of excellence.

These dressers are used in a versatile manner. From being a part of the bedroom to being used as a bathroom vanity, these dressers are able to give a room a complete aesthetic look.

Identifying Authentic Antiques from Replicas

Now that you have a basic understanding of the different styles of dressers, let’s have a look at a few simple techniques for distinguishing genuine antique furniture from reproduced ones.

In order to differentiate authentic antique furniture from fakes and copies, there are specific features of style and construction that you can look for while browsing different dresser designs.

Antique Furniture Guide is a great way of learning how to identify a new furniture piece from the old one. If you’re trying to figure out what kind of antique piece of furniture you’re looking at, these suggestions should be helpful:

  • Look For Markings On The Furniture

Manufacturers always put their labels on their pieces somewhere under the piece or on the inward side. The marking will identify when the piece was made.

  • Look At Its Construction

You can tell if it was manufactured by hand or in a factory by looking at the construction details. Since antique dressers are handmade, they usually have some irregularities, rather than those that are factory produced.

Saws used pre-1880s were semi-circular, whereas saws with straight blades appeared after 1910. The marks of each saw give the dresser a different look, as well as a texture that can help you identify the antique furniture from the ones mass-produced in factories.

  • The Style of The Furniture

The style of the furniture can also tell a lot about the age of a piece. It might be from the Victorian era if it is embellished with decorations and delicate design, or it might be a modern piece with sleek curves.

  • The wood of The Furniture

The wood that was used in Antique Dressers is usually different than the one that is used in present times. The majority of the furniture made pre-1700s was made with oak, while during the 1700s-1800s, mahogany and walnut were preferred. Maple and Cherry wood were given preference during the late 1800s.

  • The hardware of The Furniture

The hardware that is mostly seen in the antique dressers is brass and uniformed screws. Until 1848, screws were produced entirely by hand. In other words, if you locate a piece of furniture using screws with nicely finished heads, rounded shafts, and pointy ends (like a screw you might buy today), it’s probably from the mid-19th century or later.

You can check out the video below to better understand what to look for to identify a piece of antique furniture, and how you can tell an authentic from a fake.

Where to Find Antique Dressers

Now that you know how to identify antique furniture and dresser from a fake, the question that comes to mind is where can you find them!

Because of its size, transporting an antique dresser may be out of reach for most consumers. As a result, for major pieces like dressers, tables, and cabinets, consider shopping locally whenever possible since it will be easy with local pickup to get your furniture home quickly.

A hands-on inspection is also an excellent way to determine any discrepancies between a piece’s description on an online auction site and the item’s real condition.

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You can begin your search for an antique dresser both online as well as in different physical stores. Here are some good places to look for antique dressers.

  • Antique shops

Antique shops are a must when looking for the perfect dresser for your home. There are various sites and shops that are present in the current time that sells antique dressers and different furniture pieces.

When looking up online, you can check out Pamono and Chairish.Pamono and Chairish are websites where you can buy and sell vintage and antique furniture, art, and home decor items. They are a great source of online shopping.

There are also various antique art showrooms where various sellers have their antique furniture displayed for sale. Gannon’s Antiques and Art Showroom has over 100 unique vendors displaying their finest treasures in 20,000 square foot indoor mall.

  • Thrift stores

Thrift stores are also a great way of finding perfect antique dressers for your homes. Some thrift stores sell antique furniture for charitable causes as well.

By buying antique dressers from a thrift store, you will not only be buying an addition to your home but will also be giving money for a charitable cause.

  • Furniture resale shops

Furniture resale shops are a great place to find antique furniture since a majority of the people sell their old pieces to furniture shops. shops that resell antiques also preserve the pieces, so you won’t have to worry about the quality of the dressers you buy from them.

Stores like Kaiyo which sells pre-owned, durable furniture online are a great place where you can start your search for your perfect antique dresser.

  • Garage sales

Garage sales are a great way of finding the perfect addition to your house design. You never know what amazing antique piece you might come across.

  • Craigslist postings

At one point, Craigslist used to be the only digital market where people used to resell their items. While various other shops provide fixed prices, there is the ability to negotiate on Craigslist. There are various sellers who are selling their antiques, you can always connect with them and check out the piece you wish to buy.

  • Newspaper ads

Yes, it may not seem like a good way of finding antique furniture, but newspaper ads are also a great way of finding antique furniture. A Lot of people who are not accustomed with technology, generally older people, opt for newspaper ads. So, do keep an eye out for those.

  • Etsy

Yes, Etsy, your go-to shop for personalized presents is a treasure trove of antiques and vintage items too. You can browse the site’s vintage section by selecting the furniture category, which includes pieces for every room. Just search for an antique dresser and you will have a vast list of antique wood dressers at your disposal.

  • eBay

It should come as no surprise that eBay is a terrific place to find vintage and antique furniture, especially if you’re seeking specific pieces. Make a search for “vintage,” “antique dressers,” or even a specific decade to see what’s available and you will have a vast list of pieces you can check.

  • 1stdibs

1stdibs is also a marketplace online where you can buy and sell your vintage and antique pieces. This platform works on the idea of first come, first serve. So, keep an eye out and check out what you like through their furniture tab.

The Beauty lies in the Search

Finding the perfect antique dresser is hard, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can find the perfect addition for your home.

Your search for an antique dresser should be a lot less difficult now that you know how to spot a fake dresser from an antique, the different styles that exist, and where you can look to find them.

If you are still having some queries, you can reach out to us through comments or email. Your thoughts and ideas are always welcome.

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