A great piece of furniture to decorate your home with is in the form of antique tables. Finding a true antique does take a little bit of investigative work in order to weed out the true antiques from the replications. If you know what to look for you can confidently walk into any type of antique store, or auction, and know what it is you are looking for.
While modern tables can be in pretty rough shape, you want to look at the "antique" shape of the table. Are the boards roughed over and worn? Are the nails old and rusted? These things will give you a general idea of age.
An antique table will have been built with rough hand tools and without the benefit of accurate measurements and power tools. Look at the boards closely and see if you can find an irregularities in the cuts, in the planing, and in the fit of each one. Look at the joinery that was used also. Many techniques such as dovetail, and groove and tenon were used a lot in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
Antique tables would not have been constructed with screws. They would have had crudely fashioned nails without any heads on them.
A closer inspection should show antique practices such as solid wood table tops, drawers under the table for holding silverware and ornately designed legs.