Dating antique dovetails

An effective interlocking mechanical joint replaced the lapped and nailed joint around 1660 and quickly gained broad acceptance: Dovetails were simple to form with existing tools and provided excellent pulling resistance without the need for additional nails or pegs.

Rudimentary lap-dovetailed drawer construction, circa 1680.

Commonly used in woodwork joinery, they can act as a useful tool while dating our furniture.

Until the 1880s, all furniture dovetails were cut by hand using a chisel and hammer.

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He doesn’t even see what’s inside the drawer.” And that was true.I just wanted to date the piece by how the drawer was made.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.Posted on | May 12, 2011 | No Comments As the dovetail joint evolved through the last one hundred thirty years, it becomes a clue for the age and authenticity of antique furniture.The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating.

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