There are several distinct types of sideboard. The Georgian sideboard was a long narrow table, fitted with cutlery drawers and cellaret cupboards, used as a serving table in dining rooms. Most examples are at least five feet long.
Although sideboards date from the mid-18th century, their development is usually associated with the designs of Sheraton. Sideboards may be straight fronted, curved at either end, or sometimes have a recessed breakfront. The latter was partly to lighten the effect of a large piece of furniture and partly, writes Sheraton, 'to secure the butler from the jostles of the other servants'.
The central portion of the sideboard, beneath the long drawer, was usually arched with semicircular lunettes, either carved or often strung. The legs were sometimes turned, but more generally were tapered, often standing on spade or block feet. Georgian sideboards always have six legs one at each corner, one on either side of the central recess. Four legged sideboards were not introduced until the second decade of the 19th century. more...Sideboards were usually made of well-figured mahogany or, in Australia, cedar or beefwood veneer, though very few colonial examples appear to have survived. They were sometimes cross banded, strung and inlaid with decorative panels of contrasting timber.
Another type of sideboard appeared in the late 19th century, based more or less on the Renaissance revival forms associated with designers Talbert and Eastlake. It consisted of a two-door cupboard, usually panelled and carved, with a mirrored back, containing shelves and a hutched or overhanging cornice, supported by turned or carved columns.
There are many variants, but the lines and angles were much squarer, handles were often of pressed metal alloy, and by the time the sideboard reached its full Edwardian flowering, it often boasted broken or swan-neck pediments, reeded and fluted decorations, and shallow machine-made carvings of shells, rosettes and other foliage.
The style continued to be made in mahogany, oak, maple, pine or cedar until after the first world war. During the 1920s, and under the influence of the modern movement, furniture forms became much simpler and less cluttered, taking on the characteristics pioneered by the Arts and Crafts designers a third of a century before. It should always be remembered that it may take a generation before an original design, breaking with tradition, becomes fully established in popular taste.
From around 1900 the size of sideboards began to decrease, in order to fit the smaller dining rooms of the day, although this example would still require a substantial room to display it properly.
An Edwardian walnut sideboard, early 20th century, the sideboard with a central mirror flanked by reeded pillars and smaller mirrors, a breakfront section below with frieze drawers with brass swing handles and pierced escutcheons, an open shelf section and
A large Edwardian pine sideboard, early 20th century, of pierced and decorative form with a floral lead light cupboard above three bevelled mirrors, flanked by pierced sides above a deep extended lower section with three pulvinated fluted drawers and cupbo
An Edwardian mahogany specimen cabinet, the glazed door opens to reveal four drawers, each drawer with various sized compartments some of which have the bird egg specimens and some with remains of shells, 31 cm x 25 cm x 34 cm
An Edwardian satinwood drawing room cabinet, with neo classical stringing and inlay, having a swan neck pediment, above a pair bevelled glass doors, the lower section with a drawer, below a pair of panel doors, circa 1900. 175 cm high, 52 cm wide, 38 cm de
A good Edwardian Sheraton Revival mahogany parlour cabinet, with a swan neck pediment, above a bow front with a drawer and a pair of curved glazed doors, flanked by doors with fine satinwood swag inlay on square tapering legs
An Edwardian burr walnut drawing room cabinet, the arched top, above a mirror flanked by arched small mirrors and shelves, the lower section with a pair of doors with Adam style neo classical inlay flanked by curved open shelves on turned legs. 202 cm high
An Edwardian inlaid mahogany dressing table, the upper section with a central mirror between conforming supports, the lower section with a central bow-front drawer between conforming pedestals with drawers and cupboard doors, raised on a plinth base, with
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