If there is one thing that you learn in the antiques trade, it is to keep everything as far as possible in its original state and an ormolu finish on a fine antique desk or chest of drawers which gets a lot of wear from owners over time is a prime example of this. As the handles of the chest are continually handled, the gold tends to get rubbed and the bronze comes through.
It is tempting at this stage to get the ormolu (more…)
Since the 1960s, the pine chest of drawers has been regarded as something quite bohemian. These stripped and waxed antique chests, often painted white during the sixties and then dipped later, were mass produced during the 19th century. These pieces were not part of the elegance above stairs, but often became the utilitarian furniture used by servants and were referred to as country cottage or farmhouse furniture.
Its humble beginnings were often as a carcass for much more exotic hard wood veneers and extravagant pieces of furniture. However, it started to come into its own later in the 18th century and developed into particular types of bachelor chests, tallboys, and military chests. However it always maintained a fairly plain (more…)
Early 18th century antique chests of drawers remained the preserve of the rich and influential. These early pieces were usually made of solid walnut or walnut veneered onto a pine frame. Walnut as the cabinet makers’ choice of wood was becoming scarce in Britain after a succession of severe frosts early in the century and France, another potential supplier, banned the export of timber in 1720. So good examples of these early pieces of furniture are now becoming quite hard to find and can go for many thousands of pounds at auction and through dealerships.
The chest of drawers as a piece of furniture evolved from placing a chest, often made of Baltic pine, on stands fitted with two or three drawers made of walnut. The stand was then dowelled into the base of the chest. From this, rich walnut veneers and marquetry inlay could be (more…)