The mechanisation of furniture manufacture during the Victorian era resulted in a plethora of well made serviceable items such as chests of drawers being turned out for the emerging middle class Victorians in their thousands. This aspiring new market now wanted what the upper classes had had fifty or so years before and its new wealth meant that it was able to indulge itself in the purchase of large impressive pieces of furniture made of Honduras mahogany and other exotic hard woods. Their houses as well as their aspirations were expanding and these large pieces of furniture were representative of their success. A simple example of this was the increase in the size of a chest of drawers from four gradated drawers to five.
Thin machine cut veneers were now replacing the earlier thicker handmade veneers of the previous century and high gloss French polishing produced handsome patinas and depth to these new larger impressive pieces. Elaborate bow and serpentine fronts were also being achieved through steam clamping and pressing and neat dovetailing was produced as a result of machine sawing rather than being hand-hewn.
With the speed and cheapness of mechanisation came a wealth of choice in styles for the Victorians from Renaissance, Tudor and Jacobean to Queen Anne, French Rococo and reasonably faithful reproductions of 18th century pieces by Chippendale and Sheraton.
When looking for period and revival antique chests or an antique chest of drawers in Preston, Lancashire, Cumbria and elsewhere, local antiques dealers will be able to advise you on the quality of items to buy.
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