Learn about Apprentice Furniture

Small-scale versions of cabinet furniture, sometimes made by apprentice craftsmen to demonstrate their technical skills. More commonly, such pieces were made by skilled tradesmen and taken around country districts by journeymen or commercial travellers, so customers could order household furniture from these samples. Miniature furniture pieces, often made for children, are frequently described as apprentice pieces. They are now highly sought after, but, buyer beware, the market abounds with many imported and locally produced 'apprentice pieces' of more recent manufacture.
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

Victorian miniature writing table, with single drawers, the handle stamped with design registration number 166812, 53 cm wide, 31 cm deep, 49.5 cm high

A Hans J Wegner, Vitra Design Museum Miniatures Collection: Y Mini chair + a miniature designer table (af) (2) each in timber. Purchased Design Centre, Tasmania, 2005, height 12 cm, height 9.5 cm

F.H. Ayres miniature Nuku billiards table. C. 1910, slate bed with 3 x balls, miniature spring-loaded metal cue and scoreboard, in orignal wooden box with picture label to lid table 50 x 27.5 cm

Apprentice cedar pedestal tilt top dining table on triform base

Apprentice size Collapsible table, Victorian mahogany (26 cm long, 11 cm high, 12 cm wide

Suite of miniature bentwood furniture comprising a settee, 4 armchairs, table & rocking chair. Most likely Austrian, early 20th century. Chair height 30 cm

A Regency period apprentice's miniature mahogany table, the circular tilt-top raised on a ring turned baluster column, supported on three scroll legs with acanthus carved capping, terminating in carved scroll feet. Diameter 32 cm, height 25 cm

A rare early 20th century New Zealand rimu miniature cabinet maker's model table of refectory form, the rectangular top on square section legs with internal chamfers and cross stretcher, original polish with darker toned base. 25.5 x 14.5 x 13.7 cm

A miniature burr walnut sewing/writing table late 19th century, the scaled version duplicating a ladies sewing table with lift top lid revealing a fitted surface, a lower drawer segmented and containing tiny bobbins and complete with a slide out work baske

An early Victorian miniature sample table, the mahogany round tilt top table with three scroll feet on a platform base and inlaid star top. Made by John Cole, Bristol. Height 19 cm. Width 22 cm

Miniature dressing table c.1890 miniature versions of furniture were frequently made during the New Zealand colonial period, sometimes as an apprentice piece, at other times as novel jewellery boxes, desk compendiums, or more functionally as easily transpo

Miniature kauri table This delightful table, with its well defined turned legs and simple edge detail, indicate an intent rather than a miniaturisation of an actual table. In a colonial context it is unusual to find a square dining table, although some do

A Victorian miniature walnut Sutherland table, the narrow oblong shaped top with two drop down flaps on ring turned end supports United by stretcher

An apprentice piece, inlaid table with drawer, 19th century cedar

An apprentice piece, a parquetry miniature round table on centre column, mid 19th century (16 cm high, 19 cm diameter

A mid 19th century apprentice piece, a table with specimen woods top, turned ebony column and quadruped base. Height 17 cm, the octagonal top 20 cm across

A crib board in the form of a miniature table with inlaid mahogany top and baluster column, mid 19th century 18 cm x. Height 13 cm