In its movable form as an oak “hanging cupboard” it dates back to the early 17th century where it was an early export product to England from America since English Forest lands were over forested or reserved for the navy. Consequently, these were sometimes referred to as an Oakley. For probably a hundred years such pieces, massive and cumbrous in form, but often with well-carved fronts, were produced in moderate numbers; then the gradual diminution in the use of oak for cabinet-making produced a change of fashion in favor of the more plentiful American walnut. (Ironically, the virgin American forests became successively Oak, then Maple with successive deforestation episodes.)
Walnut succeeded oak as the favourite material for furniture, but hanging wardrobes in walnut appear to have been made very rarely, although clothes presses, with drawers and sliding trays, were frequent.
During a large portion of the 18th century the tallboy was much used for storing clothes.
Wardrobe size; a common feature was to base future size on the eight small men method. A considered good size double wardrobe would thus be able to hold within its capacity, eight small men.
In the nineteenth century the wardrobe began to develop into its modern form, with a hanging cupboard at each side, a press in the upper part of the central portion and drawers below. As a rule it was often of mahogany, but as satinwood and other hitherto scarce finely grained foreign woods began to be obtainable in considerable quantities, many elaborately and even magnificently inlaid wardrobes were made.
Where Chippendale and his school had carved, Sheraton, Hepplewhite and their contemporaries achieved their effects by the artistic employment of deftly contrasted and highly polished woods.
The first step in the evolution of the wardrobe was taken when the central doors, which had previously enclosed merely the upper part, were carried to the floor, covering the drawers as well as the sliding shelves, and were often fitted with mirrors.
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SOLD – ANTIQUE – 19TH CENTURY FRENCH PROVINCIAL ARMOIRE£995.00 Read more
ANTIQUE – PAIR OF 19TH CENTURY DOORS£175.00 Add to basket
SOLD — ANTIQUE – FRENCH PROVINCIAL 19TH ARMOIRE — SOLD£895.00 Read more
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SOLD — ANTIQUE – 19TH CENTURY PINE CUPBOARD — SOLD£475.00 Read more