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Your antique may be easily identified as belonging in one specific period by the style of the piece.
I bought a small -old I think it is a coffee table.
This is a modern trend that is not necessarily always affordable if found in this presented renovated state. This is a style where a stressed weathered look prevails with faux finishes and other chemical and painted treatments are applied to attain a real old look to a piece of furniture.
Sometimes it gives new life for decorative purposes to an older piece that probably would have ended up in the dump.
The younger set of collectors and dealers seem to have been qualifying items as antiques that have gone beyond fifty years old.
This is a very loaded question seeing that in today's marketplace there are so many reproductions manufactured deliberately to take on the character of a true period piece.
Use a chart such as Biddington's to look up the number you find to see if it corresponds with a year. For example, screws were rarely used in furniture before 1830 and the circular saw did not exist until after that date.
Therefore, an item built with these materials cannot be dated as an authentic piece before 1830.
Then we have the Shabby Chic which is another world on to itself.
With this category almost anything and everything goes.