Thanks to Victorian advancements in mass production during the 19th century, we are left with a legacy of many attractive and well made chests of drawers. At this point of history, families generally had more choice of furniture than they had ever had before. Now everyone could choose the style they wanted. Whether Gothic, Queen Anne, Rococo, or Neoclassical, any previous style was revived for a growing domestic furniture market. Victorian furniture varied greatly in quality. Generally, pine formed the carcass for most furniture. Cheaper versions of the chest of drawers were often painted or stained where more expensive pieces could be overlaid with fine veneers often in mahogany or walnut. Also the new technology meant that many more variations and sizes of the chest of drawers were now made. To most Victorians, size was everything. Houses generally had larger rooms so people needed larger furniture to fill them and five rather than four rows of drawers became the norm for large Victorian families.
Machine cut veneers were now much thinner than earlier hand cut veneers, and to get the desired effect, rigorous French polishing brought depth, colour and shine into these thinner surfaces. Bow and serpentine fronted chests achieved through steaming and clamping the pine carcass were now common, and machined dovetails in drawers created a uniform join. The machine took over all the turning, sawing, planing and moulding that had originally been done by hand.
There are good quality Victorian chests of drawers to suit every home and taste. When looking for a fine Victorian walnut or mahogany antique chest, Preston antique dealers will be able to provide some good examples to choose from.
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