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Handmade dovetails are fewer in number than machine-made and slightly uneven.
Slight imperfections on spindles, rungs, slats and other small parts that appear perfectly symmetrical on machine-cut furniture indicate handmade workmanship.
Pad- or Dutch-style feet were commonly seen on 18th-century Queen Anne furniture.Close examination of the furniture’s construction can indicate if it’s a real antique.The term "antique" generally refers to furnishing that's 100 years or older. Handmade dovetail joints indicate the piece was made before 1860, when machine-made furniture first was made.Some progress had been made by the use of jigs to help guide the hand-powered saws in their cutting, but essentially, the dovetail was the last holdout of handwork in a machine era.Several inventors were hard at work on the problem in the 1860s, and most concentrated on trying to duplicate the handmade dovetail using a machine—that is until Mr. Knapp of Waterloo, Wis., applied himself to the task.