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1 Easy way how to tell a reproduction piece of furniture from a real antique.
An important thing to learn which will help determine if a piece of furniture is an older “antique” is if a dovetail drawer joint was cut by hand or by a machine. It’s fairly easy to tell the difference with a quick look at them. A machine cut dovetail drawer has evenly spaced pins and tails, all looking the same. The earliest machine cut dovetail joints were at the end of the 19th century and are common on much of todays furniture. On the other hand, a hand cut dovetail joint has a finer, thinner look and generally are not perfectly spaced. Hand cut joints date back to the early Egyptian times and are still used today by some custom furniture makers. When you see this hand-cut type of dovetail on a drawer or cabinet case you can be pretty sure that along with “aged” looking wood that the item was made prior to 1870. Keep this in mind when looking for real “period” antique furniture. Happy hunting!