A credenza is a piece of furniture that became very fashionable during the second half of the 19th century. Often made of a burnished and polished wood decorated with marquetry, a central cupboard would be flanked by symmetrical quadrant glass display cabinets. The top would often be made of inlaid wood, marble, or another decorative stone.
Originally in Italian Credenza, meant belief. In the 16th century the act of credenza was the tasting of food and drinks by a servant for a lord or other important person (such as the pope or a cardinal) in order to test for poison. The name passed then to the room where the act took place, then to the piece of furniture.
Credenzas became fashionable during the second half of the 19th Century. The top of a credenza would often be made from marble or inlaid wood, the body made from burnished or polished wood usually with marquetry inlay. A central cupboard would be flanked by symmetrical glass display cabinets or open shelving.
Today credenzas are used as a type of sideboard in the dining room. Originally in Italian the word credenza meant “belief” and in the 16th Century the act of “credenza” was the servant tasting the food and drinks for the Lord or other important persons, to test for poisons. The name was the passed to the room where the act took place, then eventually to the furniture.