23 Oct 2017
July 27, 2010 - Filed under: Antique Chest of Drawers,Antique Chests,History of Antiques — Richard

When buying antique furniture, size is all important. A large Victorian sideboard, for example, can fill a modern dining room. However, Queen Anne furniture can be small and compact and ideal for modern living.

The emergence of the merchant classes towards the end of the 17th and early into the 18th century meant that new markets in antique furniture were forming for smaller town based business residences rather than furniture being made purely for aristocratic city mansions and country based estates. Smaller pieces of furniture were required to fill these houses and much of this furniture was designed to save space. A good example is the ‘chest on chest’ or the double chest of drawers which first appeared around 1710 and there are some fine well patinated examples around with beautiful walnut figured veneers. Effectively these chests take no more room than a small chest of drawers, but because they are double the height they provide twice the storage.

Also dining in small groups was becoming fashionable towards the end of the 17th century. Although the gateleg table was still made, they were being replaced by solid walnut ‘flap’ tables which were circular or oval when raised. The table having four cabriole legs, of which two were hinged and would support the flaps, would then fold down when not in use. Queen Anne dining chairs however tended to have wider seats with the added space required to accommodate the cabriole leg, so not quite as space saving as the table.

Other smaller useful pieces such as kneehole writing desks and dressing tables would also fit very easily into smaller homes today. However, care must always be taken with period veneered furniture as they do not like central heating and veneers will lift if placed too near to heated radiators.

When purchasing period or revival Queen Anne antique chests, Preston antique dealers will be able to advise you on quality pieces.

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