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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Early South Australian Barossa Valley cedar chest of drawers with three quarter gallery top fitted with six drawers

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

Late 19th century New Zealand Colonial collector's cabinet with six drawer combination

Huon pine bird's eye maple and American oak chest of six drawers by makers Peter Gay, Gays Arcade Adelaide

A good Colonial cedar chest of six drawers three short double depth drawers over three long drawers with barley twist column supports and turned feet 127 x 52 x 127 cm

A cedar six drawer full column cantilevered chest of drawers Australian 230 x 128 x 60 cm good patina

An unusual neo-classic early Colonial cedar six drawer chest 100 x 134x xx 60 cm with cross banded blades and ebonised elliptical escutcheons, turned wooden knobs with inserts and flanked by tapered flat pilasters, on short turned feet. Very good proportio

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