Hi SI family! What I do know is the hardware, finish, locks, types of wood used, wear and tear and the smell are all telltale signs when dealing with antiques. The very first thing I do is open the drawers, stick my face in and take a whiff. Then I look at the drawer construction and joinery.
Dovetails - A Clue for Dating Antiques - The Harp Gallery
Antique furniture can be exceptionally attractive and is sometimes quite valuable. You can date furniture in a variety of ways, including nail identification. The experts at Fruit Cocktail Collectables explain that most American antique experts consider wooden furniture that's from 50 to years is "vintage," and fine antique dealers look for even older pieces. One of the first ways to date a piece of furniture is to look at its nails. Experts from Real or Repo discuss the history of nails and furniture, which dates to around B.
Dovetails are interlocking carved wood joints used in cabinetry to connect two pieces of wood -- drawer fronts and sides, cabinet or cupboard corners. The technique produces a sturdy, long-lasting connection. Examining these joints helps determine the age of old furniture. It's called a "dovetail" joint because the flat-bottomed triangular shape of the wood insert looks like a dove's tail. Whether that tail is fat, skinny, symmetrical or used sparingly reveals a clue to the origins of the piece.
Knowing how to date antique furniture hardware can help you learn about the age and history of the antique furniture you collect. Hardware styles and manufacturing methods have changed over the years, and furniture hardware is packed with clues if you know how to look. Examine each piece of antique hardware on your furniture to uncover hints about its age. Take a moment to look at the screws attaching the hardware to the furniture or holding the furniture together. Is the slot on the top of the screw centered?