Learn about Chest of Drawers

Until the mid-19th century, the standard chest had either four long, or three long and two short drawers. Rarely were there any exceptions to this rule. A chest with three drawers, or a series of small upper drawers, purporting to be Georgian, will probably have been converted from a chest-on-chest or tallboy. It is true that the 18th century commode often contain two long deep drawers, but this was a much grander and more decorative piece altogether, intended for drawing rooms, not bedrooms, and in any case was usually made to stand on legs. The standard chest of drawers continued to be made throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries (some Edwardian pine chests even had bracket feet), but variations were introduced during the mid-Victorian period, with some chests having seven or more drawers usually a deep hat drawer and smaller glove compartments. Chests with barley-sugar twist or split bobbin-turned supports date from the mid-19th century.
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Victorian cedar and mahogany secretaire chest, with upper compartment opening to adjustable shelves, 108 cm wide, 213 cm high

A fine Louis XVI style marquetry secretaire À abbatant, 19th century, in mahogany and tulipwood and fashioned as a semainier, with a marble top, curved edges, a fall front with a bird's eye maple fitted interior and four drawers below, a shaped apron w

A Victorian cedar secretaire Wellington chest. Later 19th century, the chest with six drawers of differing depths, one with a faux front serving as a fold down writing plane and concealing two half width drawers and four pigeon holes, with acanthus carved

Secretaire chest Australian cedar c1835. Sydney, plate 36 Australian furniture a guidebook by John Buttsworth, illustrated in nineteenth century Australian furniture plates 51 and 52. Sydney origin, the rectangular top above a stepped front with a generous

Victorian mahogany secretaire chest with 3 long drawers above a secretaire drawer and 2 further long drawers. Provenance: Sotheby's Sydney

An unusual huon pine secretaire chest of drawers, Tasmanian, circa 1830, 97 cm high, 64 cm wide, 45 cm deep

Secretaire: A fine & rare chest, cedar with rose mahogany veneered front & satinwood pigeonhole interior, circa late 1830s early 1840s. Unusual French influenced front feet, pilaster corners with scrolling leafy capitals. New South Wales origin. Height 122

A Victorian rosewood secretaire wellington chest, labelled A. Lenehan, the rectangular top above a short drawer, full front double drawers enclosing a writing slide, pigeon holes and two short satinwood veneered drawers with ivory handles, above three furt

A George III inlaid mahogany secretaire chest, the fall enclosing drawers and pigeon, below graduated drawers. Depth 51 cm. Length 105 cm. Height 106 cm. A Bluthner upright grand over damper piano in ebonised case with original sconce. Retailer: W. Glen Co

A mid Victorian cedar secretaire chest, with satinwood interior of drawers and pigeonholes, three long drawers below flanked by canted pilaster corners with leafy capitals. Width 122 cm. Depth 54 cm. Height 128 cm

An Australian Victorian cedar and brass bound secretaire campaign chest, the secretaire drawer and short drawer above three long graduating drawers on bun feet, secretaire possibly added later. Width 118 cm. Depth 48 cm. Height 113 cm

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