Familiarize yourself with the terminology and characteristics of antique furniture styles.
Even if the style of the table suggests that it's an antique, however, you have to consider other factors.
Variations of the ball- and claw-foot design include do- or hairy paw-style feet without balls and the rarely seen hoof-style foot.
Pad- or Dutch-style feet were commonly seen on 18th-century Queen Anne furniture.
Handmade dovetails are fewer in number than machine-made and slightly uneven.
Slight imperfections on spindles, rungs, slats and other small parts that appear perfectly symmetrical on machine-cut furniture indicate handmade workmanship.