Until the mid-19th century, the standard chest had either four long, or three long and two short drawers. Rarely were there any exceptions to this rule. A chest with three drawers, or a series of small upper drawers, purporting to be Georgian, will probably have been converted from a chest-on-chest or tallboy. It is true that the 18th century commode often contain two long deep drawers, but this was a much grander and more decorative piece altogether, intended for drawing rooms, not bedrooms, and in any case was usually made to stand on legs. The standard chest of drawers continued to be made throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries (some Edwardian pine chests even had bracket feet), but variations were introduced during the mid-Victorian period, with some chests having seven or more drawers usually a deep hat drawer and smaller glove compartments. Chests with barley-sugar twist or split bobbin-turned supports date from the mid-19th century.
Andrew Lenehan, Australian cedar chest of drawers, paper label in top drawer, Sydney origin, circa 1850. Provenance: Mossgreen Somercotes Sale 2008, previously Ex Graham Cox Collection, Private Collection Tasmania, 111 cm high, 118 cm wide, 54 cm deep
A rare Colonial Australian chest of drawers finely crafted with regency styled half turned columns, cross banded edge and cock beading, redgum veneer on cedar, circa 1835, 127 cm high, 131 cm wide, 56 cm deep
An early Australian cedar chest of drawers with pine string inlay drawer fronts and reeded edge to the top and base plate, Sydney, circa 1825, 111 cm high, 113 cm wide, 52 cm deep, Provenance: Private Collection Sydney, Ex Simpson's Antiques, Illustrat
An Australian Colonial cedar chest of drawers, c.1880's, the upper chest with two central half size drawers, flanked by two deep size drawers, over three lower full size drawers with turned knob handles. Height 114 cm. Width 105 cm. Depth 45 cm
A small Victorian cedar chest. Second half 19th century, in deep tones, the top with bull nose edging above two half width drawers, two full width drawers below all with turned timber handles and raised on toupie style squashed bun feet. Height 100 cm. Wid
A Victorian cedar secretaire Wellington chest. Later 19th century, the chest with six drawers of differing depths, one with a faux front serving as a fold down writing plane and concealing two half width drawers and four pigeon holes, with acanthus carved
Secretaire chest Australian cedar c1835. Sydney, plate 36 Australian furniture a guidebook by John Buttsworth, illustrated in nineteenth century Australian furniture plates 51 and 52. Sydney origin, the rectangular top above a stepped front with a generous
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