As it will not again be necessary to refer to chests of drawers, it may be said here that the plinth is almost invariably a fixed one. It should be said that, as the backs of toilet-tables are often placed near a window so as to be visible from the outside, they should be neatly finished, especially behind the glass.
Washstands usually have marble tops instead of wood, and are fitted with tile backs. The marble is got ready from the marble mason, and the cabinet-maker has nothing to do with it except give the sizes. The kinds generally used are the ordinary white with grey veining and St. Anne's, which is just the reverse, being a dark grey or almost black with white or greyish veins. Other varieties are occasionally used, but not often; the principal one beyond those named being probably Sienna, the prevailing colour of which is reddish.
As the lining, which would ordinarily be fastened to the top, cannot well be attached to the marble, it is fixed to the table instead. Though it may be omitted it is not usual to do so, if the dressing-table has a lined top; and it may also be hinted that it is desirable, too, for mouldings on both toilets to be alike if the two articles are uniform in details of design; or, as the cabinetmaker would say, are a pair.
Fig. 202 - Dressing-chest.
The ordinary tile back is of very simple construction, whether with one row of tiles, as in Fig. 203, or with two or more. It consists of little more than a framing with an upright at each end. The framing may be either separate and fastened to these, or they may be rabbeted out behind, and form the ends of the frame.
Fig. 203. - Washstand, with Single Row of Tiles in Back.
In setting out tile backs a good deal depends on the size of the stands, as the tiles are only made in certain sizes, the 6 ins. square being the ordinary one. Seven of them are required for a row for a 4 ft. washstand, so that it will be seen the frame is not necessarily the whole length of the marble, as if this were insisted on the frame would often have to be made heavier than consistent with symmetry. In order to support the back to some extent bracket - arms, as shown, usually extend part way to the front. They are screwed through from the back of the framing. This, complete, is fastened on top of the marble by screws through holes prepared by the marble mason. The tiles themselves are usually just placed within the rabbet, and covered over with a thin wood backing. Their size being known, it is a simple matter of calculation to dispense with the blocking which is necessary generally for glass.
Fig. 204. - Washstand, with Pedestal Cupboard under.
In the illustration (Fig. 204) a pedestal cupboard is shown under the stand. This is a combination now often met with. The cupboard is perfectly plain, i.e., without either plinth or finished top, as both are unnecessary. The bottom is screwed to the board below, and the top is fastened to the drawer bearer or a runner as may be most convenient. In this washstand it will be noticed that a towel-rains attached on each side. It consists of a piece of brass tubing fixed to brass arms which are sold for the purpose.
Fig. 205. - Pedestal Washstand.
When the pedestal is separate it is almost equally simple in construction, the principal difference being that it has a plinth fixed and a covering top, the inner one connecting the ends being of pine, and dovetailed to them as usual in carcases. One shelf supported on rails fixed to the ends is generally fitted inside.
Fig. 206 - Pedestal Toilet-table.
The construction of ordinary towel-rails is so simple that nothing need be said of them. The chairs, of course, do not come within the work of the cabinetmaker, and those who wish to get them for trade purposes will know that they are mostly made in and about High Wycombe.
Pedestal toilets differ principally from those described by having pedestals instead of legs, as represented in Figs. 205 and 206. As will be noticed, the pedestals of the dressing-table have drawers, while those of the washstand have doors to form cupboards. This is the usual arrangement. In the backs or upper portions it will be seen that there is considerably more work than in the examples previously given. The dressing-glass is shown within a fixed frame, while the boxes at the sides are of more elaborate design, and the drawers are replaced by doors hinged at the bottom. The wash-stand has a double row of tiles with shelf above, and in the centre a frame containing a looking-glass. It may be well to say that these upper portions are not peculiar to pedestal toilets, being given in connexion with them here by way of variety. The lower part of each must be made in one portion.
Pedestals may be made of the ordinary construction with plinth instead of feet, and the stands may be either in one or three portions, viz., the two pedestals with fixed plinths, and the top framing connecting and containing the three top drawers.