Victorian interest in the French rococo style gave Canadian craftsmen of the mid-nineteenth century great latitude in indulging their decorative fancies. The cabinetmaker who produced this elaborate sideboard has used typical rococo motifs, such as scrolls, foliage, fruit and flowers, to lighten and enhance its appearance. Although the piece is unmarked, its style and history suggest that it may have been made in the cabinet factory of William Drum.
The wealth and sophisticated taste of prominent families in Victorian Canada, as well as the patronage of a growing middle class, supported the talents of craftsmen like Drum. Jean-Thomas Taschereau, a member of a leading seigneurial family, who became a judge of the newly formed Supreme Court of Canada in 1875, used this sideboard in his home in Quebec City. After his death the sideboard passed to his son, Louis-Alexandre Taschereau, lawyer, politician, and later premier of Quebec.
The sideboard makes a fine setting for a cut-glass punch-bowl made by G.H. Clapperton and Sons of Toronto, a pair of English girandoles in apple-green glass, and two nineteenth-century Japanese vases.