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If rough surfaces, plane scrapes, and tool marks are evident inside the piece of furniture, or on the back or bottom surfaces, you're probably looking at a pre-1860 model.This is one of the easiest ways to provide a fairly accurate date stamp to any antique.But, it is important to determine which type of wood is most prevalent in your antique to help determine the age.Oak is highly popular in furniture that dates from 1700 to earlier years.There is some detective work to be done if you want to really ensure that the antique is real, and a qualified inspector should be hired if you're spending any appreciable sum of money.
Oak enjoyed another 100 years of popularity from 1900 to the turn of the 21st century.
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.
Manufacturers have been stamping their wares for centuries.
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.