A level of sophistication and widespread popularity came into fine dining with the advent of the cellaret sideboard. It was not only the compact and streamline styling of neo-classical design, but also its functionality. The deep cellaret drawers on either side, which could fit up to six bottles of wine, plus its flat surface used for serving food made it a versatile piece of dining room furniture.
The trim features of the cellaret sideboard also now made it suitable for smaller middle class dining rooms rather than grand aristocratic staterooms. Gillows of Lancaster , in their sales records, referred to the cellaret sideboard as a ‘new sort of sideboard table now with drawers in a genteel style to hold bottles’ and during the high Regency period (1780-1810), thousands of these were made.
The two deep side drawers that held the wine often had dummy fronts to conceal the depth of the drawers. Many were of bow or serpentine construction, with six tapering legs, two at the back and four at the front. Mahogany was the cabinet makers’ choice with simple stringing and often small understated marquetry fan shaped classical motifs. Sheraton’s designs often had a brass rod back rail to support serving dishes which could also remain on permanent display.
The overall design of the cellaret sideboard, perhaps more than any other piece of antique furniture, exhibits the fine lines of neo-classicism to perfection. Its trimness and overall lightness, emphasised by thin tapering legs and spade feet, the subtle marquetry neo-classical motifs here and there and simple brass almond shaped panels and drop down handles completes the look. Colloquially often referred to as a ‘Sheraton sideboard’, they remain as a popular auction lot today.
For advice on cellaret sideboards, antique dining tables and antique dining chairs , Lancashire has a host of expert antique dealers that can help.
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