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 good colonial kauri carved mirror back sideboard, the broken arch scrolling pediment with grape bunch, fruit and floral carved detail, the back with a combination of six variously shaped bevelled mirrors, the three shelves with turned column supports, th
A late 19th century walnut and marble dentist's cabinet, tall form, the top section with flat top above a marble topped open compartment with mirrored back above two banks each of six graduating drawers, this upon a black and white variegated marble ba
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
An Art Nouveau oak sideboard, by Maisoni Krieger, Paris, c.1900, the upper sideboard with open shelves and mirrored back, over lower single drawer and single door cupboard; the door panel carved with Art Nouveau style pomegranate fruit trees. Drawer lock s
A Victorian walnut mirror backed credenza. Second half 19th century, in warm tones and with good figuration, the arching mirror embellished with carved scrolls and leaf forms, a shaped white marble top above three mirrored cupboards, and raised on a plinth
A Victorian mahogany, marble top, mirrored back chiffonier, c.1880's, having two door lower cupboard, flanked by carved corbels, square columns upon a plinth base. Height 141 cm. Width 98 cm. Depth 42 cm
Late 19th century New Zealand stained kauri mirror back sideboard the top carved with a Neptune-like mask, stylised dolphins and sea serpents, reptiles, fish and sea horses, scallops, mermaids supported by caryatid type figures, the base with three frieze
Victorian walnut breakfront side cabinet, decorated with marquetry inlay, comprising of 2 glazed doors, 2 timber panel doors and mirror back open shelf flanked by turned columns, 137 cm wide, 40 cm deep, 102.5 cm high
An Italian Renaissance style walnut secretaire side cabinet the shaped rectangular upper section with canted sides, centred by an etched mirrored door, beneath a foliate carved giltwood crest, the projecting lower section with a drop front writing surface
Antique Victorian walnut and inlaid credenza with a carved mirror back, four doors below, with two arched mirrored doors flanked by panelled doors on plinth base, approx 208 cm high, 167 cm wide, 50 cm deep
Antique American oak 'Eastlake' doctors companion, multi drawer above and two door cupboard with mirrored section for instruments etc below, blind door opens with hooks for more instruments and hidden section for drugs etc, on caster, with central locking
A Flemish cabinet on stand, 19th century, tortoiseshell, bone, ebony and ebonised, on contemporary stand, the top surmounted by a removable hinged box, below which there are two panelled doors opening to reveal ten drawers, to the centre of which are two f
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
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