How to Identify an Antique Dining Table

Antique Dining Table

There are small, yet important differences between an antique table and one that is simply made to look old. From the historic reproduction to the craftsmanship, it is important to know what makes an antique dining room table a vintage piece of furniture.

While it is always best to consult an expert, there are things you can look for in dining room tables to make sure they are in fact antiques.

Antique Dining Room Tables—What to Look for

There are five things that will help you identify authentic, antique furniture pieces. These include:

  • Design – Sometimes all you have to do is consider the design of the table. Do not assume something that has a “modern” feel isn’t an antique. In fact, old Shaker dining room tables have clean, smooth lines, but are still antique. You can tell if the table is antique by looking for dovetailed joints or mortise and tenon joints.
  • Period – Every period has its own furniture style. These styles help you determine if the table is a true antique. You can examine authenticity by looking at furniture-artist signatures, the leg and feet styles or the joints holding the pieces together.
  • Woods – Antique dining tables are heavy because they are constructed from solid wood. There are no manufactured components and often feature oak, poplar, walnut, pine, maple, mahogany or other solid woods. Veneered woods were also common with antique furniture items.
  • Legs and Feet – The legs and feet can identify the period. For example, feet that resemble pads or claws holding a ball are part of the Queen Anne period which went from 1720 to 1760.
  • Construction – Hardware used to be made by hand back in the day. So, older antique tables will have handmade hardware elements. Also, the table edges and aprons may include hand-carved designs such as roses, flowers, leaves, sunbursts or shells.

Finding Antique Dining Room Tables for Your Home

All it takes is visiting a retailer that understands antiques. Carrocel high end furniture store has a showroom full of antique furniture items, including dining room tables. Each table has been inspected for authenticity and if necessary, restored to look as beautiful as the day it was originally crafted.

Looking for a valuable, antique dining room table? Contact our artisans at 416-999-2525 or visit our showroom to see our selection of fine antique furniture.

12 Response(s) for “How to Identify an Antique Dining Table

  • Petra Depalo says:

    I have a large dining table that is quite unusual. I don’t believe it is an antique but I would love to have it identified. It consists of a centre rectangular part 104cm widex138cm long section and 2 semi circular ends ( 3 Legs) of 66cm long x 104cm wide that slide perfectly onto the rectangular centre table making it 2.5mts long. What is this kind of table called? I have searched the internet of Dining Table Pictures but have not been able to find a photo of a similar table.’
    Yours Petra

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Hello Petra, please email photos to and we would be glad to take a look!

      Thank you and Happy Holidays!

  • Adria Jeffery says:

    We just received a dining room table that had been in a friend’s family for a few generations. It has Watertown, Wisconsin stamped on one of the sliders underneath. Just trying to learn about the piece. Any information you could provide would be helpful. Thanks!

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Thank you for reaching out. Please email photos to and we can try to offer our opinions!

  • Lynn Klein says:

    I have a very heavy wood table, its huge has 3 leafs and 6 reg chairs and 2 arm chairs, All chairs and table have carved wood. How to find out the period or estimate an aprraisal

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Thank you for reaching out. Please email photos to and we can try to offer our opinions!

  • Jay says:

    My dining table is in storage so I have no picture. Perhaps you can identify a style? The 4 legs are square and tapered. The are connected to a simple frame approximately 4 feet square. The table top is about 4 foot square. The underside of the tabletop has 2 metal knobs , one across from each other and the knobs fit into a bracket on both sides of the square frame. The knobs hold the tabletop about 2 inches above the frame.

    There are 2 table leafs that are about 4 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Each leaf also has 2 pieces of wood attached that slide under the tabletop and above the frame. When not in use the leaf can be pushed inward and completely under the tabletop.

    My apologies for a long description with no picture.

    Kansas City, Missouri

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Hello Jay, thank you for the descriptions.
      Unfortunately we really need to see photos of the item to determine its style/origin and material.
      Maybe try searching on google for something similar and send us an image.

      Thank you

  • Beverley J Green says:

    I have purchased a dining room table. It has two leafs one at each end that slides out. There are a big ball at each end . The four chairs also have a ball on each of the front legs. All four chairs are stamped with a number.

    1. Carrocel Interiors says:

      Hello Beverley, please email us some photos also a photo of the stamp and we can take a look!

      Thank you.

  • Anthony Murphy says:

    We have a dining table and 6 chairs that we believe to be of Spanish decent. it does have signatures under the table on a leg section and under the chairs. can send some pictures on request. We would like to know the circa and possible worth.

    Thank you Tony M

  • Diane Bonin says:

    I visited family yesterday and was given some items of a family member that had passed away. I have been searching the internet but cannot find anything similar. The kitchen table has been passed down and my Mom who just turned 80 remembers it from her childhood. It is a porcelain top the pulls open and had a utensil drawer. The bottom of the table top has Tepco 1 81341. The base looks to have hand etched designs. Some of the screws are old square head and some look to be phillips head. I imagine it has been repaired over the years. It has been in storage since my grandfather passed in 1997. I was planning to refinish it but thought I should see what it may be worth first. I will email pictures. Many thanks for any information. Diane

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