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.
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An unusual French ormolu mounted apprentice dresser, having two cupboards below. 68 cm high, 46 cm wide, 21 cm deep

A Victorian rosewood revolving miniature bookcase of square form, circa 1880, 59 cm high, 45 cm square

Meiji gold lacquer three drawer miniature cabinet painted all over with birds in flight, with nut form handles. Condition excellent to good, very minor wear to the feet. Height 8.5 cm

Child's miniature kitchen dresser with glass doors enclosing shelved interiors. Height 78 cm. Width 51 cm. Depth 19 cm

A Chippendale Revival mahogany two door miniature corner cabinet. 69 cm high, 50 cm long, 26 cm deep

An unusual model of a Venetian sedan chair, painted with putti and florals on a crackle green ground and with coat-of-arms to each side, the roof of bombe shape, the glazed door opening to reveal a salmon silk upholstered interior, the back wall hung with

Miniature apprentice cabinet / wardrobe, drawer to base and top cupboard. Height 46 cm, width 40 cm.

Superb mid 19th century miniature mahogany bookcase fitted with specimen drawers in top & base 70 cm high, 38.5 cm wide, 25 cm deep

Victorian walnut apprentice tallboy inlaid with satinwood, 40.5 cm high, 32 cm wide, 17.5 cm deep

Miniature kitchen dresser with single drawer, approx 33 cm high, 19.5 cm wide

A miniature model of a kitchen dresser, Italian, 19th century, the dresser shelves laden with assorted books, ceramics, baskets of fruit and vegetables, a ham, cheese and other necessities, the drawers and enclosed cupboard also containing goods and chatte

An Australian cedar and mahogany apprentice display cabinet 59 cm high

19th century birdseye huon pine apprentice chaise longue with carved rosette decoration facetted legs and original horsehair stuffing, 74 cm long x 30 cm deep x 52 cm high

19th century cedar apprentice style cabinet with three drawers in base and two upper doors, 88 cm high x 49 cm wide x 25.5 cm deep (possibly made for dolls furniture)

19th century cedar apprentice bookcase, 55 cm high x 30 cm wide x 19 cm deep

A 19th century Australian cedar miniature wardrobe, the shaped cornice above three central short graduated drawers flanked by cupboard doors, raised on a shaped plinth base, 59 cm wide, 21 cm deep, 51 cm high.

A 19th century Italian miniature drop front bureau, rectangular, with a drop front above a sham front rectangular door opening to a storage compartment, bracket supports, 70 x 57 x 38 cm.

Rare Australian apprentice cedar and huon pine bookcase with two door arched glassed upper section and two shield panel cupboard doors below. 112 x 67 x 33 cm

A New Zealand woods miniature cabinet with two doors decorated with shield shaped panels which open to reveal two half width drawers over three of full width, china knobs, top and two sides in burr totara, the doors and plinth base, kauri and rimu with the

A colonial NZ timber inlay apprentice cupboard over single drawer. Geometric decoration. Height 26 cm. Width 21 cm

Pokerwork miniature desk 16.5 cm wide, 10.5 cm deep, 9.5 cm high

19th century cedar apprentice chiffonier, 83 cm high x 56 cm wide x 25 cm deep

An early Victorian miniature sample sideboard, in rosewood, mahogany and oak. Shaped backboard with shelf, the lower section with a long drawer above cupboard doors revealing three drawers. Height 43 cm. Width 30 cm

An early Victorian miniature mahogany bookcase, circa 1850, the shaped everted pediment over a plain frieze on double glazed doors with moulded edges standing on a flat base. Height 68 cm. Width 58 cm. Depth 37 cm

A miniature hardwood cabinet, 19th/20th century, of rectangular form, the two doors with upper panels pierced with a bird and flowering prunus, the interior with arched surround below a pierced dragon panel 23 cm wide, 17 cm deep, 36 cm high

Miniature colonial cedar miners couch with rolling pin ends and original horse hair stuffing (92 cm long x 38 cm deep and 47 cm high)

A Victorian walnut miniature secretaire cabinet, circa 1860, the rectangular chamfered top with satin wood stringing over a deep hinged drawer front opening to reveal a fitted interior and tooled leather writing surface over a further drawer and glazed cup

A Regency rosewood cut brass inlaid miniature key cabinet, with sarcophagus top above a door flanked by columns, velvet lined interior with hooks. Width 32 cm. Depth 21 cm. Height 32 cm

Colonial Australian cedar apprentice's desk. Constructed with turned legs and two drawers. Height 24 cm

A Victorian blackwood upholstered childs or apprentice chair

Miniature writing bureau c.1875 This very fine example was evidently designed and made as a desk compendium, the front lifts up to reveal a fitted interior complete with period ink stains as an indicator of its actual use, the use of brass ring pull handle

A Victorian miniature walnut cabinet, the two doors concealing two half drawers above two full drawers, each with brass flush handles. Width 37 cm diameter 27.5 cm. Height 39.5 cm

Colonial Native and exotic timber miniature chiffonier apprentice piece shaped back with small shelf long frieze panelled two door base with half pine cone supports 79 cm height

Suite of silver miniature garden furniture all stamped silver, comprising: a three seater sofa, three armchairs and a three seater swing

Miniature fire tool set Including tongs, brushes and pokers, a three legged stand with a barley twist column, and candle holders on the top

William Norrie specimen cabinet of small proportions with two inlaid doors opening to reveal four specimen wood drawers with inlaid knobs. Timbers featured include rimu, totara burr, rewarewa, puriri and others