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Store Clothes in Style With Antique Armoires and Wardrobes

Back in the day, clothes were kept in wardrobes or armoires when they werent stored in chests. Wardrobes and armoires could be simple with plain wood planks for a box and a door or two, or jaw-droppingly ornate both inside and out with drawers, shelves, and other storage places. A wide assortment of reasonably priced antique armoires and wardrobes are available to you on eBay.

What styles of armoires and wardrobes are available?

You can find antique and vintage armoires and wardrobes in styles such as::

  • Art Deco: This is an ornate form that came into fashion just before World War I. These armoires often have chevrons and other geometric motifs as decorations, and they date to the 1920s and 1930s.
  • Louis XV: This style is notable for its S-shapes and curves. The wood was often lacquered and painted.
  • French country: This is a simplified version of the styles named after the French kings. It rarely has such add-ons as veneers or marquetry, although the door panels can have attractive carvings.
  • Victorian: This type of furniture tends to be heavy, ornate, and made of dark woods. Original armoires made in the Victorian style date to the late 1800s.
  • Biedermeier: This German style features carvings, arches, columns, plumes, wreaths, and other ornamentations.
  • Chippendale: This type of bedroom furniture is known for its ball-and-claw or bracket feet, beautiful hardware, and scroll-style embellishments on top.
  • Renaissance: European countries each had their own version of Renaissance furniture, but it is usually massive and heavily carved with architectural details.
Features to look for in antique armoires and wardrobes

Some interesting features to look for when youre shopping for wardrobes and armoires include mirrored doors, hand-carved elements, and bronze or gilded mountings. These included bronze foliage, wreaths, and guilloches. A guilloche is a geometric band or border pattern with overlapping circles. You may find a piece with a beautiful finish or one that comes equipped with a rod for hanging clothes. Armoires and wardrobes can be adorned with marquetry, which are designs made of contrasting woods or other materials, such as horn, tortoiseshell, or mother of pearl. Others have beautifully painted exteriors in colors like white. In country-style pieces of bedroom furniture, the paint may be antiqued.

Some wardrobes have windows in the doors which may have embedded grills. There may be curtains behind the windows to conceal the contents of the armoire. This is largely found in French country-style armoires. Besides scroll-style pediments at the top of the item, armoires and wardrobes might have round pediments, swan neck pediments, or American bonnet-top pediments. You can find something to suit any type of home decor.

What are the wardrobes and armoires made from?

The woods used in antique wardrobes and armoires include:

  • Walnut: In some pieces, the walnut has beautiful burls, which comes from a wart-like growth in the root of the tree.
  • Cedar: Cedar is a fragrant softwood with a fine grain.
  • Pine: There are several types of pine, but yellow pine is often used for furniture.
  • Oak: Wardrobes can be made of several species of oak.
  • Tiger wood: This is golden brown to grayish brown wood with black stripes that recall the pelt of a tiger. It is also called African walnut.
  • Mahogany: This wood is prized for its lovely grain and reddish color.
  • Cherry: This light to dark reddish wood can resemble mahogany.
  • Teak: This is a tough but beautiful wood. It is a tobacco brown color with pleasing black streaks.
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