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.
Learn about Bachelor's Chest
A small narrow chest of drawers with a folding top. When opened, the top rests on a pair of lopers or slides. Bachelor's chests date from the early 18th century and usually have either three long and two half drawers, or four long drawers. Being narrow they are rarely more than 25cm deep they are popular in today's smaller houses and a great many have been converted from standard chests of drawers. An item of furniture that rarely appears on the Australian market.
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