Dating furniture by the carvings


Look for authentically worn or distressed stamps or manufacturer burn marks.These are an often overlooked method of determining the age of an antique the builder is telling you when it was constructed!A single piece of antique furniture is more than a collection of nails, boards, and wood stain.Antique furnishings can tell a story one that may only exist in the imagination of the lucky person acquiring the piece.



Dovetails have long been a popular method for attaching two pieces of wood at a 90-degree angle often seen in drawer construction.Lacquer has been applied to wood furniture for centuries, and if the piece you're inspecting claims to have the original finish, you may be able to date the piece quite easily. Once lacquer hits the century mark it tends to turn quite dark.If your piece is seeing this darkening effect, you're safe to assume that the piece is at least 100 years old.When you're trying to determine the age of an antique, take a look at these parts and look for tool marks, slight variances in size and shape, and elongation of round parts (round wood contracts across the grain, resulting in an oval shape after time).

While it is possible that an owner replaced the knobs on an antique with more modern units, you'll most likely be able to tell.

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.