Before and after pictures of an ornate Rosewood antique Victorian chiffonier-style coal cabinet, with damage from the sun and water. There was also structural and veneer damage. Fully restored for a customer in St Alban’s. Veneers repaired or replaced as required, stripped and French Polished ensuring good even Rosewood colour throughout.
This antique Victorian chiffonier-style coal cabinet is a fairly rare item. It is very important to restore antiques like this correctly.
Coal cabinets or Coal Boxes where used instead of a coal scuttle as a way of hiding the coal and were in a lot of ways a fashion item.
Loveridge’s catalogue of about 1897 shows 89 different designs of coal boxes. Many of these could be fitted with any of the 12 different designs of reproduced brass panels, giving an enormous number of possibilities. The catalogue also announces that “New shapes and patterns of coal boxes are produced every season to suit the prevailing tastes and styles of ornament. They will be shown by our travellers or, patterns will be sent on application”. This rather suggests that the practical manufacturer was more influenced by passing fashion than by the principles of good design. That the art gurus propounded; but that, if you could produce enough designs, some of them, surely, could be sent to the great national and international exhibitions and get the approval of the critics. But some of them, at least, produced leading edge (or, anyway, way out) designs as an addition to their range. Perry’s and Loveridge’s and Marston certainly did this – though not, so far as we know, in the case of coal scuttles.