Sideboard

Date: ca. 1795–1805

Geography: Possibly made in Baltimore, Maryland, United States; Possibly made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Mahogany, satinwood, silver, copper, verre églomisé with yellow poplar, white pine, mahogany

Dimensions: 65 1/2 x 89 x 31 in. (166.4 x 226.1 x 78.7 cm)

Classification: Furniture

Credit Line: Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest and Mitchel Taradash Gift, 1945

Accession Number: 45.77

Description

Unknown in American homes prior to the 1790s, the sideboard quickly became an essential component of the fashionable dining room. It provided space for the storage and display of expensive silver flatware, porcelain, and glassware used during the course of a meal. This massive and resplendent example with an accompanying knife box is a tour de force of early-nineteenth-century cabinetmaking. It includes a unique variety of ornament, from inlaid panels of mahogany veneer, marquetry, and silver-plated copper to verre églomisé, or reverse painting on glass on the panels flanking the central lunette.

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