SIDEBOARD. Originally the sideboard was what its name implies—a side-table, to which the modern dinner-wagon very closely approximates. Then two- or three-tiered sideboards were in use in the Tudor period, and were perhaps the ancestors, or collaterals, of the court-cupboard, which in skeleton they much resembled. Early in the i8th century they began to be replaced by side-tables properly so called. In the beginning these tables were entirely of wood and comparatively slight, but before long it became the fashion to use a marble slab instead of a wooden top, which necessitated a somewhat more robust construction. Many of the sideboard tables of this period were exceedingly handsome, with cabriole legs, claw or claw and bill feet, friezes of acanthus, much gadrooning and mask pendants. Many such tables came from Chippendale's workshops, but although that great genius beautified the type he found, he had no influence upon the evolution of the sideboard. That evolution was brought about by the growth of domestic needs. Save upon its surface, the side board-table offered no accommodation; it usually lacked even a drawer. Even, however, in the period of Chippendale's zenith separate "bottle cisterns" and "lavatories" for the convenience of the butler in washing the silver as the meals proceeded were, no doubt, sometimes in use. By degrees it became customary to
place a pedestal, which was really a cellarette or a plate-warmer, at each end of the sideboard-table. One of them would contain ice and accommodation for bottles ; the other would be a cistern. Sometimes a single pedestal would be surmounted by a wooden vase lined with metal and filled with water, and fitted with a tap. To whom is due the brilliant inspiration of attaching the pedestals to the table and creating a single piece of furniture out of three components there is nothing to show with certainty. It is most probable that the credit is due to Shearer, who unques tionably did much for the improvement of the sideboard ; Hepple white and the brothers Adam distinguished themselves in the same field but it was Sheraton who brought it to its full floraison. By the use of fine exotic woods, the deft employment of satin wood and other inlays, and by the addition of gracefully orna mented brass-work at the back, sometimes surmounted by candles to light up the silver, Sheraton produced effects of great elegance. But for sheer artistic excellence in the components of what pres ently became the sideboard, the Adams stand unrivalled; some of their inlay and brass mounts were almost equal to the first work of the great French school.