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American Cupboards

Cupboards may date as far back as the Middle Ages, when boards or tables were used to store drinking cups. These open-shelved furniture pieces were typically built with one to three tiers suited to the storage and display of plates, cups, and saucers. In time, drawers were added, and it wasn't long before the strictly utilitarian pieces took on new forms.

After the arrival of the British on American shores, cabinetmakers began producing cupboards patterned after English cabinets. Shops in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore became leading purveyors of American cupboards. Lesser-known regional makers in places like Virginia would come be known for their thriving cupboard industry, giving rise to prominent craftsmen including E.A. Clore.

Classic standalone cupboard designs would eventually give way to the kitchen hutch, the immensely popular china cabinet, and built-in cabinetry. Even so, American cupboards remain sought after for domestic duties in homes across the U.S. and around the world.


Quick Facts

  • In 2004 at Neal, an American Aesthetic carved, ebonized, and inlaid cupboard sold for $14,687
  • In 2010 at Sotheby’s, a pine apothecary cupboard, probably made in Allegheny County, New York, in 1840, sold for $15,000
  • In January 2014, a painted pine hanging cupboard with spoon shelf attributed to John Drissel dated 1800 estimated to sell for between $80,000 and $100,000 realized $209,000 at Sotheby’s

Recommended Items at Auction

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Edenton North Carolina Corner Cupboard
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Edenton North Carolina Corner Cupboard
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
American Oak 2pc Step Back Cupboard
Oct 22, 10:00 AM EDT
American Oak 2pc Step Back Cupboard
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $600
$1000 Bids
Early American Grain Painted Country Cupboard
Oct 22, 10:00 AM EDT
Early American Grain Painted Country Cupboard
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $250- $450
$500 Bids
American Country Stained Pine Hanging Cupboard
Oct 16, 12:00 PM EDT
American Country Stained Pine Hanging Cupboard
by Locati LLC
Est: $100- $500
$1000 Bids
Attributed to Liberty & Co., an Arts & Crafts oak hanging cupboard,
Oct 27, 10:00 AM BST
Attributed to Liberty & Co., an Arts & Crafts oak hanging cupboard,
by Cheffins
Est: £200- £300
£1600 Bids
Early American Flat Wall Open Cupboard
Dec 03, 10:00 AM EST
Early American Flat Wall Open Cupboard
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$500 Bids
Diminutive Country Yellow Pine Corner Cupboard
Oct 16, 12:00 PM EDT
Diminutive Country Yellow Pine Corner Cupboard
by Locati LLC
Est: $100- $500
$1000 Bids
Painted Cupboard with Drawer
Oct 22, 10:00 AM EDT
Painted Cupboard with Drawer
by New England Auctions
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1000 Bids
Antique American Primitive Step Back Cupboard
Oct 15, 10:00 AM CDT
Antique American Primitive Step Back Cupboard
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Cupboards


Mebane Antique Auction

Mebane Antique Auction

Premier Auction Galleries

Premier Auction Galleries

Locati LLC

Locati LLC

Cheffins

Cheffins