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European Cabinets

Originally conceived in the medieval era, cabinets remained low-key, almost exclusively practical pieces until the stylish French put their mark on the furniture pieces. The French dressoir, a precursor to the dressers used for clothing storage, lived in the dining room. These early cupboards were little more than trestle tables with shelves on top, forerunners to modern hutches and china cabinets.

With the perfection of woodworking joints, the refinement of quality finishing techniques, and the development of advanced hinges, locking mechanisms, and hardware, the cabinet took on a more sophisticated demeanor over time. European cabinet panels, doors, and friezes became decorative surfaces indicative of the nuances of their furniture style: from English Tudor arches, tracery, and cutouts that mimicked Gothic architecture to the gilted, painted, and elaborately carved in Italian Renaissance style.

The European cabinet's evolution closely traces that of furniture as a whole. Whether simple, bare-bones structures or fashionably high-style variants, cabinets embody every sensibility.


Quick Facts

  • In the late-13th century in Lyon, the king of France granted furniture makers in the city a tax exemption that fueled an explosion of French furniture production
  • In December 2014, a 19th-century mahogany corner cabinet with a swan neck pediment and glass doors sold at Bonhams for £220
  • A 17th-century cabinet sold at a 2014 Bonhams auction in England for the tiny sum of £50

Recommended Items at Auction

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Svend Larsen for Faarup Mobelfabrik Danish Rosewood Credenza and Hutch Top
May 29, 10:00 AM EDT
Svend Larsen for Faarup Mobelfabrik Danish Rosewood Credenza and Hutch Top
by Weschler's
Est: $200- $400
$3507 Bids
DISPLAY CASE
May 28, 2:00 PM CEST
DISPLAY CASE
by Campo & Campo
Est: €100- €150
€1404 Bids
Victorian Miniature Table Cabinet Together with Another Miniature Mirrored Door Cabinet
Jun 18, 10:00 AM EDT
Victorian Miniature Table Cabinet Together with Another Miniature Mirrored Door Cabinet
by DOYLE Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Vintage European Victorian Style Oak and Walnut Marble Top Display Cabinet
Jun 01, 11:00 AM EDT
Vintage European Victorian Style Oak and Walnut Marble Top Display Cabinet
by Northgate Gallery Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$1001 Bid
(2) FRENCH PROVINCIAL CARVED WALNUT CORNER CABINETS
Jun 08, 10:00 AM CDT
(2) FRENCH PROVINCIAL CARVED WALNUT CORNER CABINETS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1501 Bid
(2) ITALIAN MAHOGANY TWO-DRAWER BEDSIDE CABINETS
Jun 08, 10:00 AM CDT
(2) ITALIAN MAHOGANY TWO-DRAWER BEDSIDE CABINETS
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$2501 Bid
Kai Kristiansen, Cabinet
May 29, 11:00 AM CDT
Kai Kristiansen, Cabinet
by Wright
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1001 Bid
FRIGERIO LUCIANO (1928 - 1999) - Demilune sideboard with drawers and cabinets for Frigerio di Desio
Jun 07, 2:00 PM CEST
FRIGERIO LUCIANO (1928 - 1999) - Demilune sideboard with drawers and cabinets for Frigerio di Desio
by Capitolium Art
Est: €600- €800
€3001 Bid
Swedish, Flora cabinet
May 29, 11:00 AM CDT
Swedish, Flora cabinet
by Wright
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$501 Bid
Danish Teak Credenza with Hutch, 72 x 48 x 15 in. (182.9 x 121.9 x 38.1 cm.)
May 29, 10:00 AM EDT
Danish Teak Credenza with Hutch, 72 x 48 x 15 in. (182.9 x 121.9 x 38.1 cm.)
by Weschler's
Est: $20- $40
$101 Bid
French style serpentine cabinet with marble top and brass mouldings (104 x 101 x 43cm)
May 30, 10:00 AM AEST
French style serpentine cabinet with marble top and brass mouldings (104 x 101 x 43cm)
by Lawsons
Est: AUD240- AUD350
AUD151 Bid
Victorian Carved Oak Cupboard
Jun 05, 11:00 AM EDT
Victorian Carved Oak Cupboard
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $200- $400
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell European Cabinets


Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery

Wright

Wright

Westport Auction

Westport Auction

Clements

Clements