There is no exact science where antique furniture is concerned; you simply make an educated decision based on what is most important to you.
Becoming knowledgeable about antique furniture takes research, even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this wide-ranging subject.
American furniture styles have seen a significant number of style periods since the early Colonial era, with each period being to some degree influenced by the pieces being built in Europe (generally England and France).
In an effort to determine the range of the age of a piece of furniture, we have the beginnings of a built-in time line if the piece has drawers.
And that is even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this very diverse subject.
Use the press and stay informed about current trends and potential scams in the antique trade by consulting popular and highly regarded antique trade publications.
In other words, more vintage furniture is acquired for its beauty and function rather than the profit potential of a piece.
But whether you are looking for a piece of antique furniture for your home or looking for something to sell on; to become knowledgeable about identifying antique furniture takes research.
Handmade dovetails almost always indicate a piece made before 1860.
It’s easy to spot an antique by the drawers because joints were not machine-cut until about 1860.