Over the weekend I did some basic repairs to a now lone nesting table. It is about a foot and a half by two feet wide if it matters. A leg's dowels had all broken and it was hanging loose. Also replaced two stretchers that had fallen off and were lost for the same reason.
Up until this point I had never looked at the underside of the table and was perplexed by the presence of Roman numerals on the table.
It is interesting. I would venture that the markings are from a gouge that was gently hammered. It would appear that the mark was present before the wood was stained. I cannot come up with a logical reason why this would be there.
It can't be a assembly guide. The top should be the easiest thing to identify and none of the other parts appear to be numbered in a similar manner. If this was some sort of mass manufacturing deal then you would want to match your tables to its parts.
I doubt its the table ID within the nest. They would all be of different sizes so each would be easy to identify. There likely were not 8 to start with. The first one would be for a doll house if that was the case.
This could be the manufacturers signature but seems odd as it is not a name or a company (pretty sure).
What do you think this is assuming it is not a personal practice?