Dating furniture dovetails

Walnut and mahogany were prevalent between the years 1700 to 1800, and maple and cherry were common from 1800–1900.

Oak enjoyed another 100 years of popularity from 1900 to the turn of the 21st century.

If rough surfaces, plane scrapes, and tool marks are evident inside the piece of furniture, or on the back or bottom surfaces, you're probably looking at a pre-1860 model.

Often, manufacturers from 100 years ago would simply state “New York” or “Pennsylvania.” Sometimes they’ll denote the city in which it was built.

Screws that appear handmade and quite individual most likely help date the piece from the early 1700's to the mid to late 1800's.

Manufacturers have been stamping their wares for centuries.

Keep in mind, wood components can be replaced and this may affect your ability to determine the exact age of a piece.

But, many of the original wood components may have been refinished leaving original paint deep in the wood's pores.

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Don't leave it up to an educated guess consult a guide that is designed to help you determine the age of your piece.

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