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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Fine Contemporary Primitive Cupboard
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Fine Contemporary Primitive Cupboard
by Main Auction Galleries
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
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Alacena realizada en madera.
Oct 27, 4:30 PM CEST
Alacena realizada en madera.
by Arte Subastas Bilbao
Est: €0- €0
€1800 Bids
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Alacena realizada en madera de nogal tallado con decoración vegetal y león.
Oct 27, 4:30 PM CEST
Alacena realizada en madera de nogal tallado con decoración vegetal y león.
by Arte Subastas Bilbao
Est: €0- €0
€1800 Bids
A GEORGE III OAK STANDING CORNER CUPBOARD
Oct 23, 10:00 AM BST
A GEORGE III OAK STANDING CORNER CUPBOARD
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £300- £500
£1500 Bids
American Painted Pine Two Door Cupboard
Oct 27, 10:00 AM EDT
American Painted Pine Two Door Cupboard
by Gray's Auctioneers
Est: $400- $600
$3000 Bids
E. Gomme for G-Plan, a Librenza afromosia room divider,
Oct 28, 10:00 AM BST
E. Gomme for G-Plan, a Librenza afromosia room divider,
by Cheffins
Est: £200- £400
£2000 Bids
Attributed to Arthur Romney Green, a Cotswold style oak dresser, circa 1910,
Oct 28, 10:00 AM BST
Attributed to Arthur Romney Green, a Cotswold style oak dresser, circa 1910,
by Cheffins
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
A Heal's oak floor-standing corner cupboard,
Oct 28, 10:00 AM BST
A Heal's oak floor-standing corner cupboard,
by Cheffins
Est: £250- £350
£2400 Bids
An Ercol elm corner cupboard,
Oct 28, 10:00 AM BST
An Ercol elm corner cupboard,
by Cheffins
Est: £50- £100
£500 Bids
A Jacobean Style Oak Court Cupboard
Oct 20, 10:00 AM CDT
A Jacobean Style Oak Court Cupboard
by Hindman
Est: $500- $700
$2500 Bids
Brown-Painted Walnut Corner Cupboard
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
Brown-Painted Walnut Corner Cupboard
by Nye & Company
Est: $700- $1,000
$1750 Bids
George III Style Mahogany Corner Cupboard
Oct 28, 10:00 AM EDT
George III Style Mahogany Corner Cupboard
by Nye & Company
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
Ash corner cupboard with 2 three pane glass doors, 82”H, 40”W
Oct 21, 9:00 AM EDT
Ash corner cupboard with 2 three pane glass doors, 82”H, 40”W
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Country style step back cupboard. 56”x21”x87.5”
Oct 21, 9:00 AM EDT
Country style step back cupboard. 56”x21”x87.5”
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Victorian step back cupboard. 55”x17.5”x85”
Oct 21, 9:00 AM EDT
Victorian step back cupboard. 55”x17.5”x85”
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Pine step back cupboard, 50” x 19” x 89”
Oct 21, 9:00 AM EDT
Pine step back cupboard, 50” x 19” x 89”
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Oak step back cupboard. 38”x17”x74.5”
Oct 21, 9:00 AM EDT
Oak step back cupboard. 38”x17”x74.5”
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Cupboards


Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

Cheffins

Cheffins

Nye & Company

Nye & Company

Arte Subastas Bilbao

Arte Subastas Bilbao