Dating furniture dovetails

By Bob Flexner Pages 54-56 A while back, my wife and I were visiting friends who wanted to show us their collection of antique furniture.At one point we went into their bedroom and I headed directly for a very old-looking chest-of-drawers.

Over the years of working on hundreds of pieces of antique furniture, I’ve developed a quick and fairly accurate system for dating and determining the origin of any piece of furniture containing drawers. Construction Drawer construction has changed several times in the last 200 years.The marks are often visible, especially on the inside or underside of a piece.The joints were less delicate at first -- fairly wide and blunt, cut crudely with rare exceptions.The use of the joinery technique stretches back into prehistory, but its utility is still relevant.Today, dovetail joints are machine made, and that fact is what helps to pinpoint the age of the chest of drawers from the attic.

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