Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands.
As the dovetail joint evolved through the last one hundred thirty years, it becomes a clue for the age and authenticity of antique furniture.
Look for areas that have been worn down or replaced.When the joint is expertly executed, it is a thing of beauty, and a secure joining of two boards that can last for centuries.A little glue cements the connection, and a good dovetail joint has great strength and durability.William and Mary, 1690-1730: The style is named for the English King William of Orange and his consort, Mary.New colonists in America brought their English furniture traditions with them and tried to translate these styles using native woods. Lines of this furniture style tend to be crisp, while facades might be decorated with bold grains of walnut or maple veneers, framed by inlaid bands. Turnings are baluster-shaped and the use of C-scrolls was quite common.Furniture styles can be determined by careful study and remembering what design elements each one embraces.To help understand what defines each period, here are some of the major design elements for each period.Nails are also a strong indicator of age, as cut nails weren't replaced in construction until the 1880s.Examine any locks and look for file marks or any signs of irregularity, which would indicate something that was handmade and therefore probably older.Can I order my Lane Furniture in a different finish or cover than what I have seen?Can I supply my own fabric when ordering upholstered Lane furniture?The video above provides a great introduction to dating antique furniture and what areas should be examined.Take note of the shape of the screws used to hold the furniture together.Tiny angled saw cuts were followed by careful cutting by a sharpened chisel on both sides to avoid splintering.