Loading Spinner

American Buffets

With broad-ranging styles and functional versatility, American sideboards are no longer limited to the dining room. Today, they play a role in almost every part of the house.

The modern buffet is said to have originated from the brännvinsbord, a Swedish table used to serve large amounts of food and alcoholic drinks from the mid-16th through the early-18th century. Beginning at the dawn of the 19th century, the term buffet was adopted as the French word for a sideboard; however, after the Swedish custom of smorgasbords gained widespread popularity in Europe, buffet tables developed their own distinct identity as places from which to serve small meals and pre-dinner drinks.

In the United States, the growing popularity of buffet-style eateries created a desire to replicate the style at home. Many early U.S.-made buffets were based on designs by English cabinetmaker Thomas Shearer, who drew inspiration from Scottish architect and furniture designer Robert Adam. Later, designs would expand into virtually every style.

Ranging from those crafted in the spirit of Duncan Phyfe, the Scottish-born American furniture designer appreciated for his fine Neoclassical style, to the clean-lined, mod-style pieces created by George Nelson for American of Martinsville, American-made buffets often find their way to the auction block.


Quick Facts

  • In 2007, an American Renaissance carved and burled walnut buffet attributed to New York's Alexander Roux sold at a Neal auction for $37,600
  • A very important American Southern Federal inlaid cherry buffet circa 1800 sold in a February 2005 Neal auction for $102,750
  • In 2000 at Christies, a Hewlett Family (New York) Federal inlaid mahogany buffet (1790-1810) sold for an impressive $299,500

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

Buffet
Dec 10, 9:00 AM EST
Buffet
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$154 Bids
A SHERATON REVIVAL SATINWOOD AND POLYCHROME PAINTED TWO TIER BUFFET OR WHATNOT
Dec 13, 10:30 AM GMT
A SHERATON REVIVAL SATINWOOD AND POLYCHROME PAINTED TWO TIER BUFFET OR WHATNOT
by Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales
Est: £300- £500
£2400 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Buffets


Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales

Dreweatts 1759 Fine Sales