This is a restoration of a New York sideboard circa 1790-1810 that I have just completed for a client. This sideboard had been worked on many times over the years. It has had four sets of hardware added from previous work. I found evidence that the original was a 2″ brass knob from the imprint left in the wood. I ordered the new Sheraton knobs from Ball and Ball. The back plate covers two later boring holes but I still had to patch two boring holes on either side from pulls that were added later. I made small oval patches and inlayed them to cover the boring holes. The sideboard came with two back boards, neither was correct. After doing some research into sideboards of this period I found a very similar side board in
The cabinet-makers London book of prices, and designs of cabinet-work in perspective, by the London society of cabinet-makers, 1803
I designed this back board taken from that plate in the book on page 325. I had some very old mahogany circa 1840 that I worked into the new back board.
At first the inlay looked very impressive but the more I looked at it something wasn’t quite right. I believe that the birds -eye maple ovals , circle and broad line inlay on the case , drawers, and doors was added later. Also the broader inlay over the drawers was later. The reason for this is because of the poor craftsmanship of the insetting as they were put in. In my opinion there are too many gaps and too much filler between the inlay and the mahogany veneer I do believe that the narrower (1/8″) vertical inlay and the cross banding inlay in between the lines are original to the sideboard. The vertical line inlay is made up of three layers of holly, walnut, and holly or maple, mahogany, and maple . It is very hard to identify the wood in the inlay.
The newly made molding is a perfect match. After grinding shaper knives from the pattern that I cast. The replacement molding was run. Both the left and right side of the return molding were missing. In the upper left of the top photo you can see oak molding, that doesn’t match, some one had put on. The mahogany molding was so close it just needed to be mitered and attached. Next I stained and finished the molding.