Dating english oak chests
The earliest examples are from furniture placed with mummies in Egypt thousands of years ago, and also in the burials of ancient Chinese emperors.
For thousands of years, a dovetail joint was created by a skilled cabinetmaker using small, precision saws and wood chisels.
Here is an early example of machine-cut dovetails on a 1920's sideboard from a dining set: European cabinetmakers continued to produce hand-cut dovetails through the 1930's.
Electric power tools, like routers and various types of saws were put into widespread use after World War II in the 1940's.
When the joint is expertly executed, it is a thing of beauty, and a secure joining of two boards that can last for centuries.
Nevertheless, by the 1950's, power tools were used in almost all furniture construction across Great Britain.
The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating.
With just a little study of these examples, it is easy to spot true hand made construction vs. The name “dovetail” comes from the appearance of the joint, resembling the triangle shape of a bird's tail.
Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands.
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 earliest form of antique blanket chests were otherwise known as antique coffers.