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 fine Victorian mahogany sideboard, 19th century, with an arched mirror back having pierced and entwining foliate motifs and a well crafted grape cluster crest above a serpentine top with a frieze drawer, a pair of panelled cupboards below flanked by conf
A Victorian mahogany mirrored sideboard, 19th century, with an arched extended cornice above a similarly shaped mirror to a shelf and serpentine breakfront top with bullnose edging, a central frieze drawer above a panelled cupboard flanked by full height c
A 19th century European walnut buffet of small proportions, the two decorative shaped short drawers above two multiple relief panelled doors above an open section, turned and fluted column supports, multiple moulded border edge to the base. 9.9 cm x 44.5 c
A French boulle and ormolu style cabinet late 19th century. The cabinet is decorated in the 'Boulle' style with pierced-cut brass, red tortoiseshell inlay, against a black 'Ebonized' patinated finish. The front and sides are decorated with ormolu upper and
A French boulle and ormolu, three door credenza late 19th century. The credenza is decorated in the 'Boulle' style with pierced-cut brass and red tortoiseshell inlay, against a black 'ebonised' patinated finish. The cabinet is serpentine shape with a centr
A remarkable Dutch mahogany wine cabinet in the Empire manner, of late 18th - early 19th century period, the top and fascia with paterae inlays, the dentil frieze detailed top lifting to reveal hinged déployant shelves and an inset zinc ice basin. The fasc
A superb Victorian burr walnut three door credenza, the central panelled door with fine and intricate fruitwood marquetry work, the bow fronted glazed end doors with similar marquetry work on door frames and frieze. the whole cabinet with gilt metal highli
A good Victorian mahogany sideboard, with scroll carved back, a long centre drawer above a 2 door cabinet with 3 drawers inside, flanked by 2 outside doors with shelves inside, 181 cm wide, 60 cm deep, 157 cm high
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