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.
Victorian mahogany pedestal sideboard, with scroll carved back above inverted breakfront top, 3 drawers and 2 doors opening to a decanter drawer, shelf and other drawers, 200 cm wide, 63 cm deep, 142 cm high
A fine Georgian mahogany breakfront sideboard, early 19th century, of generous proportions, the bow front sideboard with fan patterned book end veneers, a central drawer and arched recessed lower drawer flanked by a mock dual drawer cellar cupboard and an
A Louis XVI style ormolu mounted kingwood bureau plat, by Edwards and Roberts, London, late 19th century, the leather top above frieze drawers raised on tapering legs with rosette terminals, stamped 'Edwards & Roberts/Wardours/London, 73 cm high, 133 cm wi
Victorian walnut & parquetry marble top mirror back sideboard the back with scroll moulded mounts and uprights, shaped white marble top, the base with three mirrored doors and slender mirrored uprights on shaped platform base with bun feet
Victorian oak sideboard the back with swan neck pediment, centred by a cabochon shield, two open shelves with scroll and acanthus supports, the base with two frieze drawers and cupboard enclosed by doors, applied in high relief with dead game birds
A fine pair of Victorian walnut ormolu mounted cabinets, circa 1870, the upper section of each with caddy tops, glazed single door with ormolu beading and box line inlay opening to reveal two velvet lined shelves, the lower section inset with finely figure
An Aesthetic movement inlaid rosewood cabinet, late 19th century, with a fretwork gallery above a mirrored back with a single shelf, the two panelled cupboards below charmingly inlaid with squirrels and a bird spying a spider on a thread, an undertier and
A Victorian marble topped rosewood credenza, mid 19th century. of demi-lune serpentine profile, having an arched glass with carved and pierced fruiting and floral forms, a white marble top and three cupboards below with a mirrored central medallion flanked
A Victorian flame mahogany sideboard, 19th century, the sideboard with a shaped arching back with applied carved grape and vegetal forms and a decorative crest, three pulvinated drawers, one partitioned and felt lined for cutlery, with four panelled cupboa
An impressive continental 19th century ornately carved court cupboard having cupboards below with carved lion head mounts and above carved panelled huntsmen doors. 235 cm high, 202 cm wide, 81 cm deep.
A Victorian marquetry marble top credenza, serpentine fronted Carrera marble top above floral marquetry freeze and panel fronted cupboard doors enclosing a single shelf, 154 width x 42 depth x 91 cm height
An important pair of Victorian ebony, amboyna and marquetry cabinets by Lamb of Manchester, of exhibition quality, circa 1860'S, each with galleried shelf mirrored back above concave mirrored sides with open shelves and central cupboard doors, with ivory m
A 19th century gilt metal mounted Marquerty inlaid burr walnut side cabinet, the stepped rectangular cornice above gilt metal trimmings flanking a shaped glass inset single door, enclosing two shelves,112 x 84 x 32 cm
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