Shrunk furniture – Examine all the furniture in bright light, preferably sunlight. Locate the marks made by the manufacturer of furniture, which can be hand written or in the form of a stamp or label and are usually found on the back, bottom, drawers or compartments inside. In addition, old furniture should show signs of wear and tear.
Identify the materials from which the piece is made. The wood shrunk furniture with age, and the signs of contraction is most often in the drawers or marquetry. Examine the finish. Waxes and oils were used to end most of the furniture until mid 1800 Old paint feels hard to the touch, while the new paint has some give to it when pressed. Remove all drawers and open all compartments. Shine a small flashlight to identify any breaks manufacturer marks or any signs of repair, such as mismatched woods, stains or veneers.
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Examine the drawers and doors, if any. Accept, used to join pieces of wood, they are a telltale sign of an old cabinet. Dovetails handmade are not uniform, while the dovetails, use machine-manufactured after 1860, will be perfectly symmetrical. Examine the hardware and construction shrunk furniture. Old nails and screws were not uniform, had a blunt until the mid-19th century, and may be bleeding into the wood.