(The Antiques Dictionary) Taken from Antiques directory By Judith & Martin Miller
By the beginning of the 18th century drawers slid on bottom rather than on side runners and it is here, as with all working parts, that damage is encountered and restoration is required. The replacement of runners, provided that it is sympathetically executed, is commercially acceptable and is indeed necessary in order to preserve the chest if it is intend for use. Indeed, specific damage will occur if defective runners are not repaired. When opened and closed the drawer will shake the carcass loosing the end joints of the drawer, the end joints of the drawer frames where they run into the sides. This can cause the veneer to loosen, whereupon it may be struck by the drawer, causing it to chip. The replacement of handles is necessary when the original pulls have been damaged but often a new set was substituted in order to give the chess a more up-to-date appearance, particularly during the early 19th century. It is also important that the chest of drawers should retain its original feet, although it may be acceptable for the underside blocks to have been replaced.
Chippendale 1785, Federal inlaid 1790,