When considering what a fine antique should look like, a Regency sideboard is about as elegant a piece of antique furniture as you could possibly wish to see. The straight Regency lines, fluted legs, plain drawer fronts with inlaid crossbanding and Grecian architectural brass elliptical handles complete the Neo-classical look.
The enduring quality of these sideboards is due to their growing popularity during the Regency period. Certain combined features of these new pieces such as wine coolers (or cellarets) and plate warmers in a single piece of furniture which were placed in deep drawers and centrally joined via a single shallower drawer, produced a highly functional piece.
Also their size meant that they fitted comfortably in smaller dining rooms rather than large staterooms which broadened their appeal. Records by Gillows of Lancaster in 1779 refer to antique sideboards of this type as a:
‘new sort of sideboard table now with drawers etc in a genteel style to hold bottles.’
These new types of sideboard began to be made in large numbers between 1780 and 1810 and were usually made of mahogany or rosewood which could be inlaid with simple stringing. Many were serpentine or bow fronted. The Regency sideboard very soon became a central piece of furniture in most upper middle class dining rooms of the period where, as well as functioning as a sideboard during meals, as aptly described by Gillow, its genteel elegance also created an ideal platform for displaying the family’s silver, plate and ceramics, and remains a popular piece of antique furniture today.
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