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Dovetails are interlocking carved wood joints used in cabinetry to connect two pieces of wood -- drawer fronts and sides, cabinet or cupboard corners.

The technique produces a sturdy, long-lasting connection.

Boxy shapes with joined wood angles were connected by dovetailing, a fact that contributed to the intact state of the grave goods when the pyramids and burial chambers were excavated.

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This bold response was the catalyst that caused the pendulum of furniture style to swing to a simple straight line functional design, and the Eastlake name became a furniture design era.

In England, the Eastlake period is considered to be from 1870-1890.

An effective interlocking mechanical joint replaced the lapped and nailed joint around 1660 and quickly gained broad acceptance: Dovetails were simple to form with existing tools and provided excellent pulling resistance without the need for additional nails or pegs.

Rudimentary lap-dovetailed drawer construction, circa 1680.

Today at New Leaf we got in a beautiful piece of Eastlake furniture: a four drawer marble top chest.

Charles Eastlake was an English architect from the late 19th century; his importance to furniture design can not be underestimated.

Faced with a situation that calls for a cool head we can turn ourselves into James Bond or Grace Kelly.

On your next antique expedition, you might try assuming the role of Sherlock Holmes.

Many people make the mistake of looking at one or two details while neglecting the rest, but judging antique furniture is a lot like judging a painting: look at the details, but also take in an overall perspective.

For starters, look closely at the hardware—pulls, knobs, hinges, screws, nails, whatever. Keep in mind that hardware goes in and out of style just like everything else, so a large majority of antique furniture has had its hardware replaced at least once.

Welcome to our educational feature where we give a piece of inventory the once over so that you can learn more about the stories of the stuff that ends up in our store.

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