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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

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Sellers Who Sell American Cupboards


Mebane Antique Auction

Mebane Antique Auction

Hindman

Hindman

Clements

Clements

California Auctioneers

California Auctioneers