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.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.A single piece of antique furniture is more than a collection of nails, boards, and wood stain.Antique furnishings can tell a story one that may only exist in the imagination of the lucky person acquiring the piece.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.
Feet and chair spindles were also carved individually, so there is no way each one could possibly look identical.
The problem is, 5-digit zip codes have only been around for about fifty years!
Often, manufacturers from 100 years ago would simply state “New York” or “Pennsylvania.” Sometimes they’ll denote the city in which it was built.
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.
Look for authentically worn or distressed stamps or manufacturer burn marks.