Dating antique dovetails
If you have an early table with turned legs, grasp one and turn your hand slowly back and forth. I always look at the bottoms of feet on pieces to look at age as well.It is hard to explain what I am looking for other then wear and age.After the Centennial era, Colonial through Federal styles have had many revivals up to the present day.
Two ways to tell are, make sure the backboards are matching (color and tooling) and then stand to the side of the piece.
What you are looking for is handcrafting and age compared to machine made with less age.
Before you tip the table upside down, pull out one of the drawers and turn it over.
Now you want to look at the dovetail edge of the drawer.
The best thing I can do is show you images of both machine dovetailing (which is uniform) and hand dovetailing. On hand dovetailing, often you see the marking scores that were used to lay the dovetailing out.
On a period piece, you should see what is called a chamfered edge.