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In Furniture, what is a Lowboy?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 16, 2024
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A lowboy is a short chest with two or three drawers and long legs. Unlike a highboy, which is a tall chest of drawers made in two pieces a lowboy is made in one piece. The bottom piece of a highboy is similar to a lowboy. A lowboy is a versatile piece of furniture because it can be used as a table or a desk in many cases.

Some antique lowboys were made with a mirror attached. Long, curved pieces of wood often frame the mirror and connect it with the rest of the lowboy. The mirror itself is often a curved shaped such as round or oval. Many lowboys had cabriole, or curved legs.

English lowboys from the late 19th century often had three drawers. The drawer fronts were usually curved or a combination of curved and straight. Edwardian style lowboys were typically made from walnut and looked more like a table or desk than a chest of drawers. The legs on an Edwardian lowboy are often very long.

Colonial lowboys were often made from cherry and had two drawers. The drawer fronts on many of these pieces are straight and flat while the legs are usually curved and elaborately carved. This style of lowboy is often used as a hall table.

Modern lowboys are mostly made for television (TV) stands. They may be sold as a TV Lowboy or a Lowboy Television Stand. Most modern lowboys look nothing like antique ones as they are often simple structures that are made of just a few rectangular planks. A modern lowboy made to hold a television also has very short legs, unlike traditional lowboys. Many TV lowboys have open shelving as well.

A sideboard lowboy is a piece of dining room furniture that usually has short legs. Sideboard lowboys have doors that cover the shelving inside, but the doors may have glass inserts. Some traditional styles are more curved and made from darker wood while most modern styles are made from lighter wood or black non-wood materials.

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