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And that is even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this very diverse subject.When trying to identify antique furniture, dedicated antique hunters search for beautifully preserved pieces, armed with pins, magnifying glasses, spirit levels and all sorts of testing equipment.Check the piece in an inconspicuous spot with denatured alcohol; if finish dissolves, it’s shellac.If the piece is painted, test it with ammonia; older pieces may be finished with milk paint, which can be removed only with ammonia.If the piece has drawers, remove a drawer and look carefully where the front and back of the drawer are fastened to the sides of the drawer.If a joint was dovetailed by hand, it has only a few dovetails, and they are not exactly even; if it has closely spaced, precisely cut dovetails, it was machine-cut.

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Look carefully at the bottom, sides, and back of the drawer; if the wood shows nicks or cuts, it was probably cut with a plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, it was cut by a circular saw, not in use until about 1860.Consider practical matters Carefully: Always check the size and weight of any piece of antique furniture that interests you. To reduce these costs, search in local antique dealers and check other sellers who will provide a complete wrap and ship service.The first aspect is the joinery; machine-cut furniture was not produced until about 1860.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.

If the piece of furniture is dirty or encrusted with wax, clean it first with a mixture of denatured alcohol, white vinegar, and kerosene, in equal parts. Very early furniture, from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the eighteenth century, is mostly oak, but since the end of the seventeenth century, other woods as walnut and mahogany became the preferred choice among the cabinet makers.