You should have a discernible amount of difference between the two measurements. By the nineteenth century, cabinetmakers were using several smaller dovetails to join together the sides of drawers. If each dovetail is the same size and evenly spaced, they were crafted on machinery.
This puts your piece into the Victorian era at the earliest.
The wear and tear of a piece of furniture also helps to tell its age.
A legitimate antique is one hundred years old or older.
Determining the age of antique furniture is not an exact science, but there are certain indicators of age evident in furniture.
How a piece is constructed is a common measure of age.
To verify--and certify--when any piece was constructed, screws and nails need to be examined, hinges removed and bits of veneer scraped off.
Do not depend only on hardware style to date a piece. If there are circular saw marks, the piece was made after 1850. Rungs should have discolouration or be worn down where you would place your feet. Are there nicks from it being banged against walls for many years?
However, today there are many excellent suppliers of high quality reproduction hardware pieces where each item is accurately crafted in every detail as they were in earlier times. provides an extensive selection of antique furniture restoration and reproduction hardware and fittings.
Their restoration hardware is hand crafted using the Lost Wax method of casting.
Look at the nails used in the construction of your piece of furniture. You need to remove a screw and examine it to be certain it is handmade. Look at where your skin comes into contact with the handle and the area around it.
If you're unable to remove any nails, look closely, using a magnifying glass, at the nail head. The cutting of the shaft should be uneven and the end blunted rather than pointed. Years and years of handling and contact with skin oils should leave a patina on both the handles and the surrounding wood.