Learn about Chest of Drawers

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.
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Australian cedar bow front chest of drawers, diminutive 4 drawer chest measuring 74 cm tall

Georgian bow front three drawer chest. Lime washed finish with brass fleur de lys handles. 111 cm x 52 cm x 83 cm

Victorian cedar 8 drawer chest with carved corbels and bow front shirt drawer

An early 20th century Australian Chippendale style mahogany chest with bow front and four-graduated drawers, on short cabriole legs, terminating in ball and claw feet

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