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.
Cantilever Colonial cedar chest of 5 drawers. A fine example with cockbeading to drawers, blackwood end grain handles, turned columns & huon pine secondary timbers. Tasmanian origin c1840. Height 120 cm, width 121 cm, depth 57 cm
A 19th century Tasmanian huon pine chest, the frieze with a shaped drawer, below a deep drawer with applied carving, flanked by small drawers, above three graduated drawers, flanked by carved corbels. 141 cm high, 118 cm wide, 54 cm deep.
An Australian solid birdseye huon pine chest, circa 1860, rectangular, with two short and two long graduated drawers with turned handles and brass escutcheons, raised on squat bun feet, 95 cm wide, x 55 cm deep x, 81 cm high. Provenance: Private collection
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