Dating furniture legs
Handmade dovetails are fewer in number than machine-made and slightly uneven.
Slight imperfections on spindles, rungs, slats and other small parts that appear perfectly symmetrical on machine-cut furniture indicate handmade workmanship.
This will be very helpful if you are interested in antiques and want to learn and understand the styles and construction.
It should also be noted that, since these styles evolved organically, pieces may exhibit characteristics of more than one age simultaneously.Shellac, oil, wax and milk paint finishes are strong indicators of older furniture.Primitive hardware such as wooden pegs and dowels, square or crudely formed nails and natural wear are additional signs of real antique furniture.The type of wood and decorative materials used on the piece can also assist in determining a specific style.Most important, however, is distinguishing true antiques from well-made reproductions, as any alterations can adversely affect the value.
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Recognizable characteristics on legs, feet, drawers and backs help determine the style of antique furniture.