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Lacquer has been applied to wood furniture for centuries, and if the piece you're inspecting claims to have the original finish, you may be able to date the piece quite easily. Once lacquer hits the century mark it tends to turn quite dark.
If your piece is seeing this darkening effect, you're safe to assume that the piece is at least 100 years old.
In fact, screws in general didn't really come into vogue until the turn of the 20th century.
The first machine made screw was produced in 1848, so anything that uses a complete set of screws that appear to be machine turned will most likely date from circa-1850 and later.
Screws that appear handmade and quite individual most likely help date the piece from the early 1700's to the mid to late 1800's.
Manufacturers have been stamping their wares for centuries.
These are an often overlooked method of determining the age of an antique the builder is telling you when it was constructed!
Before 1860, most drawer knobs, pulls, and implements were made by hand.