There are several distinct types of sideboard. The Georgian sideboard was a long narrow table, fitted with cutlery drawers and cellaret cupboards, used as a serving table in dining rooms. Most examples are at least five feet long.
Although sideboards date from the mid-18th century, their development is usually associated with the designs of Sheraton. Sideboards may be straight fronted, curved at either end, or sometimes have a recessed breakfront. The latter was partly to lighten the effect of a large piece of furniture and partly, writes Sheraton, 'to secure the butler from the jostles of the other servants'.
The central portion of the sideboard, beneath the long drawer, was usually arched with semicircular lunettes, either carved or often strung. The legs were sometimes turned, but more generally were tapered, often standing on spade or block feet. Georgian sideboards always have six legs one at each corner, one on either side of the central recess. Four legged sideboards were not introduced until the second decade of the 19th century. more...Sideboards were usually made of well-figured mahogany or, in Australia, cedar or beefwood veneer, though very few colonial examples appear to have survived. They were sometimes cross banded, strung and inlaid with decorative panels of contrasting timber.
Another type of sideboard appeared in the late 19th century, based more or less on the Renaissance revival forms associated with designers Talbert and Eastlake. It consisted of a two-door cupboard, usually panelled and carved, with a mirrored back, containing shelves and a hutched or overhanging cornice, supported by turned or carved columns.
There are many variants, but the lines and angles were much squarer, handles were often of pressed metal alloy, and by the time the sideboard reached its full Edwardian flowering, it often boasted broken or swan-neck pediments, reeded and fluted decorations, and shallow machine-made carvings of shells, rosettes and other foliage.
The style continued to be made in mahogany, oak, maple, pine or cedar until after the first world war. During the 1920s, and under the influence of the modern movement, furniture forms became much simpler and less cluttered, taking on the characteristics pioneered by the Arts and Crafts designers a third of a century before. It should always be remembered that it may take a generation before an original design, breaking with tradition, becomes fully established in popular taste.
From around 1900 the size of sideboards began to decrease, in order to fit the smaller dining rooms of the day, although this example would still require a substantial room to display it properly.
An early Colonial cabinet in two sections, cedar with tulipwood cross banding and pine stringing, Tasmanian origin, circa 1825, top cabinet originally fitted with glass now with later exotic timber panels, ink inscription on back 'C. Anderson lent to Yerin
An Australian Colonial cedar sideboard, the back with feather moulded anthemion and c scrolls above three cushion fronted drawers and inset panel fronted cupboard doors enclosing lead lined cellaret and fitted drawers, 53.7 width x 78 depth x 131 cm height
William Champion Rare Tasmanian cedar chiffonier, beautifully proportioned and crafted with hexagonal columns, flame cedar panels, finely turned supports, cross banded edge and unusual tri-form drawer profile, rich patina with original polish, circa 1845,
A Victorian cedar chiffonier. Mid 19th century. Of typical form with an arched back with a pierced carved crest and scrolling frame, a full width shelf with baluster supports, the lower section with bull nose edging, an ogee profile frieze drawer and two c
An early colonial cedar double pedestal sideboard, circa 1835, designed in the manner of Thomas Sheraton, the rectangular top above three frieze drawers in fiddle back cedar with replacement ring drop handles, the pedestals each with a single panel door cu
A Victorian cedar chiffonier, second half 19th century, the chiffonier with an arched and scroll decorated back with a shaped shelf and turned supports, the top with thumbnail edging above a pair of ogee shaped drawers and panelled cupboards with side corb
A cedar single door cabinet. Early 20th century, the cabinet with an extended top above a single cupboard with a vertical strapwork feature opening to shelving and raised upon toupie feet. Height 112 cm. Width 93 cm. Depth 41 cm
An early Victorian cedar/mahogany twin pedestal sideboard, circa 1840s, the breakfront sideboard in rich dark red to purple tones with a framed book end veneer serpentine back, a slightly extended stepped top above three reeded frieze drawers, two cupboard
An important early colonial string inlaid cedar six-leg sideboard, Hobart, circa 1815, 93 cm high, 214 cm wide, 65 cm deep. Literature: Australian Furniture: Pictorial History and Dictionary, 1788-1938, Kevin Fahy and Andrew Simpson, Casuarina Press Ptd Lt
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