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Classical Carved Mahogany Sideboard, Baltimore, c.1820

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This sideboard form, for its time, was fairly novel, appearing in the October 1822 issue of Ackerman’s Repository. The pyramidal doors open without suggestion of their being doors, and the drawers above are architecturally developed within the cornice molding. The depressed marble mixing surface is also fairly novel, below which is a pull-out serving slide and drawer.

The backsplash is developed with a mirror flanked by carved cornucopia, the quality of which is truly exceptional (see detail); this also can be seen in a sideboard heavier in feeling at Winterthur and another related sideboard is in our collection (sw00372). Still another of this form can be seen at the Art Institute of Chicago, without the carved, mirrored backsplash. Also, a variant without the middle pull-out slide and a boxy two-drawer middle section is shown on the attached scan.

The midsection of the sideboard is quite dramatically executed with a curved skirt and paneled recessed interior. Compare this with the last comparative example above to see the design development. Gadrooning is used here above each of the drawers with beading around each of the main door panels, all of which rest on small carved paw feet with acanthus and scrolled foliate carving. The marble is original and the woods of striking mahogany; this sideboard was obviously designed to grace an important room.

Height: 61 1/4 in.  Mixing Height: 39 in.  Width: 79 3/4 in.  Depth: 24 1/4 in.
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