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A dresser is of a certain style if most of its features represent what was popular during a time period. The tendency is for the shade of natural wood to darken. To avoid being fooled by forgers and fakes, check the dresser's out-of-sight areas, such as its back and side edges that would be placed against walls. You should feel a slightly wavy undulation on the surface of the wood.

You also might feel undulated patterns under drawer bottoms. They can aid in deciding the approximate age of a dresser.

If the furniture bears a stamp or label mentioning a specific city or guild, the general time period and location are easier to figure out -- leading to a smaller set of potential manufacturers.Inspect the entire piece for a tag or marking of any sort.In some cases, the label may not be an actual manufacturer name, but the name of a retailer or association, such as Sears, Roebuck and Company, or the Grand Rapids Furniture Makers Guild.In the early part of the period, nail-makers cut them by hand from a sheet of iron.Later, machine did the cutting, but nails were still made one at a time.