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.
Charles II oak chest of drawers, c. 1670, with eight drawers decorated with geometric design, resting on a chest with two drawers. Height 120 cm. Width 102 cm. Depth 60 cm. Provenance: Purchased from Phillips Harris, London, 1974
Antique English mahogany George III chest on chest, fitted with eight drawers of graduating size, canted stop fluted pilasters to the sides, dental moulding above, fitted with rococo style bronze and handles and escutcheons, approx 188 cm high, 112 cm wide
A Second Empire French solicitors chest. The shaped top, above a frieze drawer with brass banding, below two banks of eight drawers, flanked by Corinthian pilasters. 159 cm high, 84 cm wide, 38.5 cm deep.
A superb French kingwood tall chest. Surmounted by a rouge marble top with eight drawers cross banded with rosewood flanked by canted corners and ormolu corbels with carved apron and short carved legs. Height 162 cm. Length 100 cm. Depth 39 cm
An Australian fiddleback blackwood chest of drawers Manufacturer's plaque for W. H. Rocke & Co. Melbourne having an arrangement of eight drawers flanked by reeded stiles brass drop handles bun feet oval brass manufacturer's badge 117 x 145 x 56 cm
19th century New Zealand Colonial Scotch chest by J. Tonson Garlick of Auckland, pattern G856. In kauri, mottled kauri and puriri, eight drawer combination on small turned feet. Reference: William Cottrell, furniture of the New Zealand Colonial Era, an Ill
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