A chiffonier

A chiffonier (or cheffonier) is a piece of furniture differentiated from the sideboard by its smaller size and by the enclosure of the whole of the front by doors. Its name (which comes from the French for a "rag-gatherer") suggests that it was originally intended as a receptacle for odds and ends which had no place elsewhere, but it now usually serves the purpose of a sideboard.

It was one of the many curious developments of the mixed taste, at once cumbrous and bizarre, which prevailed in furniture during the Empire period in England. The earliest cheffoniers date from that time; they are usually of rosewood - the favorite timber of that moment; their furniture (the technical name for knobs, handles, and escutcheons) was most commonly of brass, and there was very often a raised shelf with a pierced brass gallery at the back. The doors were well panelled and often edged with brass-beading, while the feet were pads or claws, or, in the choicer examples, sphinxes in gilded bronze.


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  • Chiffonier — Chif fo*nier , fem. Chiffo Chif fo niere i[ e]re , n. [F. chiffonnier, fem. chiffonni[ e]re, fr. chiffon rag, fr. chiffe a rag, flimsy cloth.] 1. One who gathers rags and odds and ends; a ragpicker. [1913 Webster] 2. A receptacle for rags or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • chiffonier — piece of furniture with drawers for women to put needlework, cloth, etc., 1806, from Fr. chiffonnier, a transferred use, lit. rag gatherer, from chiffon, dim. of chiffe rag, piece of cloth, scrap, flimsy stuff (see CHIFFON (Cf. chiffon)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • chiffonier — or chiffonnier [shif΄ə nir′] n. [Fr, chest of drawers, orig., ragpicker < CHIFFON] a narrow, high bureau or chest of drawers, often with a mirror …   English World dictionary

  • chiffonier — /ʃɪfəˈnɪə / (say shifuh near) noun 1. an elegant waist high cupboard with a sideboard top and usually a decorated backboard rising above it. 2. a high chest of drawers. 3. a low cupboard with shelves for books. Also, Rare, chiffonnier. {French… …   Australian English dictionary

  • chiffonier — noun Etymology: French chiffonnier, from chiffon Date: 1765 a high narrow chest of drawers …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Chiffonier — Chiffonnier Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • chiffonier — /shif euh near /, n. 1. a high chest of drawers or bureau, often having a mirror on top. 2. a low bookcase of the English Regency, with grille doors or doorless. 3. a shallow, tall, open piece of furniture, of the 18th century, having shelves for …   Universalium

  • chiffonier — noun A tall, elegant chest of drawers, often with a mirror attached. From the half open drawers of this chiffonnier hung laces, ribands, stockings, ladies underclothing and an abdominal brace, which gave the impression that the feminine finery… …   Wiktionary

  • Chiffonier — Chif|fo|ni|er 〈[ʃıfɔnje:] m. 6; veraltet〉 = Chiffonnier …   Universal-Lexikon

  • chiffonier — n. commode, high luxurious chest with drawers and a mirror on top; piece of tall furniture (of the 18th Century) that is not deep having shelves for displaying china …   English contemporary dictionary