When arriving at a chest's value you will have to consider all these points.
The more original and fancier a chest is the more valuable it will be but it is also important that the chest has a good colour and patination.
Drawer mouldings will also give an indication of the age of the chest.
In the 17th Century mouldings were applied to the carcass and as the 18th Century progressed these details transferred to the edges of the drawers.
; "old", "ancient") is an item perceived as having value because of its aesthetic or historical significance and at least 100 years old, although today the term is often used loosely to describe any objects that are old.
An antique is usually an item that is collected or desirable because of its age, beauty, rarity, condition, utility, personal emotional connection, and/or other unique features.
Chests will have other enhancements that effect their value.
Some chests are made out of solid wood whilst others are veneered and veneered chests are usually better quality and more desirable.
One of the first questions to ask yourself is what wood is the chest made from?In the United States, the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act defined antiques as, "...works of art (except rugs and carpets made after the year 1700), collections in illustration of the progress of the arts, works in bronze, marble, terra cotta, parian, pottery, or porcelain, artistic antiquities and objects of ornamental character or educational value which shall have been produced prior to the year 1830." 1830 was the approximate beginning of mass production in the United States.These definitions were intended to allow people of that time to distinguish between genuine antique pieces, vintage items, and collectible objects.If it is early 18th Century it may well be in walnut and if it is Georgian or later it is probably made out of mahogany. If they are made in pine the chest is probably of secondary quality whereas if they are of oak or mahogany it is of superior quality.Also look at the way the grain of the bottom board runs, if it is from front to back the chest is probably of early 18th Century construction, the grain running from side to side suggests a manufacture of post 1750.If the handles are original it will give a very good indication of the age of the chest.A pear drop handle will suggest the chest will be William and Mary or Queen Anne period whereas a swan neck handle would be found on pieces that post date 1750.In the George II period drawers often have ovolo mouldings (a quarter round edge) and by 1760 the drawers would typically have a cock bead moulding.Feet where also often changed to make a chest more fashionable.This is because the cabinet-maker has specifically chosen select cuts of timber to give life and interest to the chest.Cabinet-makers also added bandings, stringings and even carving to enhance a chest's appearance and if they are original this will also add value to the chest.