Learn about Tallboy

In Britain and Australia, a tallboy refers to the same item of furniture as a chest-on-chest. In America, however, it often refers to a chest of drawers, usually with a distinguishing hooded top, placed on top of a stand similar to a lowboy. The American variant is often known as a 'high boy'.

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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Tallboy dresser, Oriental cherrywood, early 20th century, eight drawer, faux bamboo carving and mirrored top, height 130 cm

A late 19th-century Australian cedar tallboy chest, seven drawers, 132 x 121 x 52 cm

A Colonial cedar tallboy chest of seven drawers, 128 x 112 x 50 cm

Huon pine tallboy chest of drawers, circa 1890 with bobbin turned pilasters, 210 cm high, 162 cm wide, 60 cm deep

A Regency period mahogany tallboy, 'chest on chest', early 19th century. The upper chest has three full size drawers with ovular gilt metal drop handles. The base has four full size drawers, same matching handles, and splayed feet. The draw fronts, base si

Tallboy: English country pine six drawer chest on turned bun feet with brass swing handles. Early to mid 19th century. Height 150 cm, width 105 cm, depth 54 cm

Georgian walnut veneer banded Tallboy, having three short drawers above four long drawers with brass pull handles on bracket feet, height 158 cm, width 90.5 cm, depth 44 cm

A 19th century European marquetry tallboy with six drawers and neo-classical decoration of cornucopia, vases and central lyre. Small veneer losses. Height 156.5 cm. Width 102 cm. Depth 43 cm

A solid mottled kauri miniature tallboy of six full width drawers of uniform height, each with bevelled fascia and ebonised bun handles, raised on a simple plinth base and with conforming top with bevelled edge. 29 x 15 x 42 cm

A 2nd Empire fine mahogany tallboy chest, maker Pihouee 195 rue Saint-Antoine Paris, the chest with inset marble top and moulded edge four brass bound drawers below a pair of panel doors flanked by canted corners supported on a plinth

A mahogany bow front chest, the top with moulded edge above three long drawers, altered from a bow front tallboy. Width 114 cm x. Depth 62 cm x. Height 88 cm

A George III mahogany tallboy, English, circa 1800. Width 117 cm. Depth 56 cm. Height 180 cm