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.
A Victorian cedar chiffonier. Mid 19th century. Of typical form with an arched back with a pierced carved crest and scrolling frame, a full width shelf with baluster supports, the lower section with bull nose edging, an ogee profile frieze drawer and two c
A good early Victorian rosewood davenport, Johnstone and Jeanes, new Bond St., London, circa 1840, the brass-galleried top and hinged writing surface enclosing a well and drawers, the right side with a pivoting ink and pen drawer above a slide and a cabine
A late George III ebony-inlaid mahogany sideboard, early 19th century, the central section with drawer flanked by a pair of high pedestals, each with a drawer above a cabinet, the right-hand drawer fitted as a cellaret, raised on low turned feet, the front
A Victorian cedar chiffonier, second half 19th century, the chiffonier with an arched and scroll decorated back with a shaped shelf and turned supports, the top with thumbnail edging above a pair of ogee shaped drawers and panelled cupboards with side corb
A Victorian mahogany chiffonier, second half 19th century, the chiffonier having an arched back with carved scroll and acanthus decoration above a serpentine top with a frieze drawer with internal partitions, two cupboards with fielded panels flanked by co
A late Victorian walnut Aesthetic movement cabinet, circa 1880s, the cabinet with Gothic elements having a three quarter spindle gallery and ball finials above a cupboard with an applied motif to the door and an adjacent open compartment with spindles and
A fine Victorian burr walnut marble topped credenza, second half 19th century, the credenza with an arched back, finally embellished with a delicate pierced and carved crest and tendril side decorations, a white marble serpentine top above three cupboards
A large Victorian mahogany sideboard, second half 19th century, the sideboard with a rectangular mirror having a carved and pierced crest with side embellishments above a breakfront extended section, with a panelled frieze drawer with two arch panelled cup
A vintage eight drawer plan cabinet in Victorian Ash, circa 1940s, the deep shallow drawers each with pairs of ribbed timber pull handles and centred with card holders, the interior of each drawer with a full width hinged metal paper guard; raised on a rec
An antique eight drawer plan cabinet in Victorian Ash, late 19th to early 20th century, the cabinet with a mitred top with a tooled ox blood leather insert above eight shallow drawers each with pairs of metal cup handles and raised on a plinth base. Height
A Victorian tabernacle style flame mahogany sideboard, mid 19th century, the sideboard with a distinctive extended top with a low triangular back with restrained framed panel embellishments above a breakfront servery with a pulvinated frieze and a single d
A seven drawer plan cabinet in Victorian Ash, circa mid 20th century, the deep cabinet with a low gallery to the rear, with shallow drawers each with metal cup pull handles and small metal frames for holding identification cards. Height 91 cm. Width 94 cm.
Victorian gilt bronze mounted walnut and marquetry credenza, c. 1860, the bow shaped top with outset corners above a frieze with three circular hand painted Sevres panels and ormolu bands, flanked by two columns with ormolu capitals and terminals and two b
A Victorian walnut mirror backed credenza, second half 19th century, in warm tones and with good figuration, the arching mirror embellished with carved fruits and leaves with a central shell motif, a shaped white flecked marble top above three arched and m
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