How to Date Kittinger Furniture

Kittinger furniture is some of the best-crafted furniture you can find. Its timeless, beautiful designs make it perfect for homes and businesses alike. But did you know that Kittinger furniture also has a history dating back to the early 20th century?

How to Date Kittinger Furniture

Knowing this information, wouldn’t it be great if you could add an even more personal touch when picking out your favorite pieces? Dating Kittinger Furniture isn’t as hard or intimidating as many may think!

In this blog post, we will explore everything related to how to date Kittinger Furniture from deciding on the right age range, spotting counterfeit items, proper maintenance tips & more!

What is Kittinger Furniture?

Before we dive into the details of dating Kittinger furniture, it’s important to have a good understanding of what exactly it is. Kittinger Furniture Company was founded in 1866 by John Henry Belter and George J. Henkels in Buffalo, New York.

It quickly gained recognition for its high-quality, handcrafted furniture pieces with exceptional attention to detail. In 1876, Kittinger took over the business and continued to produce exquisite furniture pieces that caught the eye of prominent figures in society.

Needed Materials

Given below is a list of all the materials you will need to help date your Kittinger furniture:

  • Magnifying Glass
  • Flashlight
  • Reference Books or Online Resources With Pictures and Descriptions of Older Kittinger Pieces
  • Screwdriver
  • Photocopier/Scanner
  • Pen and Paper
  • Digital Camera
  • Tape Measure

11 Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Date Kittinger Furniture

Step 1: Look for Kittinger Markings

The first step in dating Kittinger furniture is to identify the manufacturer’s markings. From the 1920s onward, Kittinger furniture featured a paper label or gold stamp with its name and logo. However, older pieces may only have an engraved signature or number.

Gold Stamp With Its Name and Logo

You can also find a serial number on the back or bottom of a piece, which can help determine its age. It’s essential to note that Kittinger furniture made before the late 1920s may not have any markings at all.

Step 2: Check for Originality

Inspect your furniture piece to determine if any changes have been made to it. Look for signs of repairs, alterations, or replacements that could affect its value and authenticity. But keep in mind that even Kittinger furniture pieces could have undergone some restoration work over the years. It’s essential to understand the difference between restoration and originality.

Step 3: Examine the Wood

Kittinger furniture was typically constructed from high-quality woods such as mahogany, walnut, or cherry. Look for a rich, consistent color and grain pattern on all sides of the piece. This could indicate that the wood is original, as Kittinger often utilized a unique “waterfall” technique to match the grain on each side. It’s also worth noting that older pieces may have more significant wood shrinkage due to age.

Step 4: Pay Attention to Hardware

Older Kittinger pieces usually had handmade hardware with intricate designs and details. Check for any variations in hardware, as this can help you date the piece more accurately.

It’s also essential to note that Kittinger used different styles of hardware during different periods, so this can also be helpful in dating a piece. It’s also worth noting that Kittinger branded its hardware with stamps or labels.

Step 5: Measure the Dimensions

Kittinger furniture pieces had specific dimensions depending on when they were made. Use a tape measure and compare the measurements to reference guides to determine its age. You can also look for any non-conforming pieces that may indicate alterations or replacements. But keep in mind that measurements may vary slightly due to shrinkage over time.

Use a Tape Measure

Step 6: Examine the Joinery

The joinery of Kittinger furniture is an essential aspect of dating it. Look for dovetail, mortise tenon, or dowel joints, which were commonly used during different time periods. You can also compare the joinery to reference guides for more accuracy. If you find any nails, staples, or screws, it’s most likely not an original Kittinger piece.

Step 7: Inspect the Finish

The finish on Kittinger furniture was often hand-rubbed with a smooth and consistent texture. Check for any variations in color or texture, as this could indicate a refinished piece. This can also help determine if a piece is from a specific period, as Kittinger used different finishes during different eras. However, it’s also worth noting that the finish can vary due to age and usage.

Step 8: Look for Clues on the Back of Drawers

Sometimes, labels or markings can be found on the backs of drawers. These can provide valuable information about when and where the piece was made. If there are no markings, look for any pencil writing or stamps that could also provide clues. You can also take a photocopy or picture of these markings for future reference.

Step 9: Compare to Reference Books or Online Resources

Reference books and online resources with pictures and descriptions of older Kittinger pieces can be helpful in determining the age of your furniture. It’s essential to compare measurements, joinery, hardware, and markings to these resources for more accuracy. You can also find information on specific styles or designs that were popular during different periods.

Step 10: Seek Expert Opinion

If you are still unsure about the age of your Kittinger piece, consider seeking the opinion of an expert or appraiser who specializes in antique furniture. Whether in-person or through online consultations, their knowledge and experience can provide valuable insights into the history and value of your furniture. It’s also worth noting that they may charge a fee for their expertise.

Step 11: Use a Photocopier or Scanner for Documentation

Lastly, it’s important to document all information found during the dating process. Use a photocopier or scanner to make copies of any labels, markings, or reference materials for your records. Always keep this documentation with your furniture for future reference or if you decide to sell your piece in the future. This can also help increase its value and authenticity.

Use a Photocopier or Scanne

Following these step-by-step guidelines on how to date kittinger furniture can help you accurately date your Kittinger furniture and gain a better understanding of its history and value. Remember to take your time, use proper tools, and consult reliable resources for the best results. Happy hunting!

Maintenance Tips for Kittinger Furniture

Now that you have successfully dated your Kittinger furniture, here are some tips on how to properly maintain and preserve its beauty:

  • Avoid Placing Furniture Pieces in Direct Sunlight as It Can Cause Fading and Discoloration.
  • Use a Soft Cloth to Gently Clean the Surface of Your Furniture, and Avoid Using Harsh Chemical Cleaners.
  • Keep Furniture Away From Extreme Temperatures and Humidity to Prevent Warping or Cracking.
  • Regularly Dust and Polish Your Kittinger Furniture to Maintain Its Shine.
  • Seek Professional Help for Any Repairs or Restoration Work.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How Do I Know if My Kittinger Furniture is Authentic?

A1. By closely examining the markings, wood, hardware, dimensions, joinery, and finish of your furniture piece, you can determine its authenticity. It’s also helpful to compare it to reference materials or seek the opinion of an expert.

Q2. How Can I Tell the Age of My Kittinger Furniture?

A2. By following the 11 step-by-step guidelines mentioned in this blog post, you can accurately date your Kittinger furniture based on various factors such as markings, wood type, joinery, and more.

Q3. Is It Important to Properly Maintain Kittinger Furniture?

A3. Yes, proper maintenance is essential to preserve the beauty and value of your Kittinger furniture. Regular dusting, avoiding direct sunlight and harsh chemicals, and seeking professional help for repairs are all important aspects of maintaining these antique pieces.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight

Q4. Can Kittinger Furniture Be Reupholstered?

A4. Yes, Kittinger furniture can be reupholstered, but it’s important to do so with caution and preserve the original materials as much as possible to maintain their authenticity and value. It’s recommended to seek professional help for any reupholstery work. Overall, Kittinger furniture is a valuable and timeless investment that requires proper care and attention to maintain its beauty and authenticity.


Dating Kittinger Furniture can be an interesting and satisfying process. Not only is it easy to identify the age and origin of these beautiful pieces, but it is also possible to gain a better understanding of the history behind them. This is often useful for collectors or those who wish to purchase multiple pieces, as they can determine a wider variety of their beneficial characteristics. It may take some time and research to fully ascertain the age and origin of

Kittinger furniture, therefore it is important when doing so to take into account the various factors including inspection of its overall condition, the style associated with that particular point in the historical timeframe, as well as any other potential documentation related to its date and provenance.

Ultimately, having a better appreciation of Kittinger furniture will bring enhanced satisfaction and help build a deeper connection with these unique and beautiful antique pieces. Thanks for reading this article on how to date kittinger furniture.

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

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