Figure 215 shows another Sheraton sideboard with china closet, the property of Mr. R. H. Maynard, of Boston. The cornice consists of a fillet, a cyma recta, a fillet, an astragal, and a fillet, below which is a band of inlay. On the top are seven urns and at the centre is an inlaid urn. The doors are unusual. Each has an upper painted panel, those on the outside representing ladies gardening and the inner one representing flowers and flower pots. On each of the inner doors below the painted panel is an oval mirror with black-and-gilt border. In the cupboard is a desk drawer and on either side is a drawer and a cupboard. The lower section, which in the preceding figure is a cupboard covered with a tambour slide, is open to allow for the knees of the person sitting at the desk. The piece stands on turned feet.
Sheraton Sideboard with china closet and desk drawers, about 1800.
Figure 216. Mixing-Table, 1790-1800.
Figure 216 shows a mixing-table, the property of Mr. George S. Palmer, of New London. The table is a marble slab, and a tambour cover closes over it.
On either side are bottle drawers. The piece is inlaid with panels of satin-wood, and the same wood is inlaid on the legs, which are of the slender tapering type.
A sideboard very much like one of the designs in Sheraton's book, except that it is much simplified, is shown in Figure 217. The drawers are decorated with a narrow inlay strip, and the handles are the rosette and ring which in many styles and sizes were much used by Sheraton on furniture of all kinds.
The distinguishing characteristic of Sheraton sideboards in this country is the slender reeded leg. The sideboards here shown represent fairly well the general character of American Sheraton, though, of course, endless variations in shape, size, and arrangement are to be found. The wood is generally mahogany.
Figure 217. Sheraton Sideboard, about 1800.
With the decline in favour of early Sheraton designs, about the year 1800, the character of construction for furniture in general was radically changed. The graceful effects obtained by the use of the slender, square, and reeded legs were entirely lost by the substitution of the massive round or rope-carved pillars, extending nearly to the floor, and finished with the bear or lion's claw foot. This massive design was adopted from the French Empire style, but the American makers omitted the elaborate trimmings in brass and ormolu and depended for effect upon the grain of the wood and the heavy carving. In the vocabulary of the dealer of to-day the term colonial is applied to this plain and massive style -a misapplied name, for the fashion was not known until some time after the American colonies had become States. The sideboards in Empire style are almost always furnished with three drawers beneath the top, the fronts of which are sometimes made on a curve; the handles are rosette and ring, lion head and ring, and the brass or glass rosette. The doors of the cupboards which filled the lower portion are nearly always panelled, often in oval or Gothic form, as is also the board which finishes the back of the top. Veneering is used extensively to obtain elaborate grain effects, and the mahogany used is very fine. Trimmings in brass are occasionally employed, but the majority make use of panelling and carving for decorative purposes.
Figure 218 shows an Empire sideboard of conventional design having the rope-carved column extending to the floor, forming the feet. The back-board makes use of a style of broken arch which was quite often used with the Empire designs, although it is a survival of a much earlier style.
Figure 218. Empire Sideboard, 1810-20.
Figure 219 illustrates very well the circular pillars and bear-claw feet which are most characteristic of American Empire furniture in general. Sideboards constructed after the fashion of this one are commonly without the raised drawers at the end and are often furnished with a serving-board which pulls out from beneath the top at the ends. The centre cupboard portion is sometimes omitted, leaving the section between the two inside columns open to accommodate a cellaret.
Figure 220 shows a sideboard in late Empire style, which is a type of many which were made in the South, especially in Virginia and Maryland. The rear board is raised sufficiently to accommodate a large mirror, and at either side are carved grapes and leaves. The raised panels on the fronts of the end cupboards will be seen to terminate in claw feet, which rest on a little platform extending across the front. The feet proper are plain balls, which often replace the claw in the last surviving forms of Empire sideboards. Both the last two sideboards belong to Mr. Meggat.
Empire Sideboard, 1810-20.
Figure 221 shows a sideboard with the knife-boxes at either end which is the property of the Pennsylvania Museum at Philadelphia. At the back is a panel on which is carved a lion and foliated scrolls, and below, a guilloche pattern. The ornamentation on the rest of the piece is of beautifully inlaid brass. The doors of the cupboards at the ends are heavily panelled, finished with columns at either end. The knife-boxes are made similar to the cupboards with the panelled fronts and columns. They stand on ball feet as does the cupboard.
Figure 222 shows a late sideboard. The front is straight, except at the centre, which is swelled. There are three cupboards below and three drawers above. At the corners are columns with carved acanthus-leaf capitals, and the piece stands on melon feet with coarse acanthus-leaf carving.
Figure 210. Empire Sideboard, 1810-20.
Empire Sideboard inlaid with brass, 1810-20.
Figure 222. Empire Sideboard, about 1820.
Figure 223. Empire Sideboard, about 1830.
About 1820 - 30 great numbers of sideboards after the fashion of figure 223 were made in New England, the drawers and cupboard being ornamented with veneered panels of bird's-eye maple; the front of the wide drawer at the top was tometimea arranged with a spring and quadrant and the inside finished with drawers and pigeon-holes for use as a desk.
Empire furniture, which preserved a semblance of the original French designs from which it was taken, continued to be made as late as 1850, when mon-itrotitiea following somewhat its outline, but utterly without merit or beauty, paved the way for the machine-made furniture.