The glass-fronted bookcase entered the English cabinetmakers' repertoire about the mid-17th century, and the bookcase in one form or another has been an indispensable part of the civilized person's home ever since.The 17th century bookcase tended to be a glazed cabinet from plinth to pediment, with square glass panes. The later Stuart period saw the introduction of the bureau bookcase or the secretaire bookcase, where the bookshelves were double-heightened above a desk or cupboard base. Early bureau bookcases often had mirror or blind-panelled door fronts, although these have frequently been replaced with clear glass panes. During the Regency period, the fashion arose for small cabinet bookcases, rarely more than three feet in height, which left the walls clear for hanging prints and pictures, known in the trade as a 'dwarf bookcase'. Such bookcases were sometimes open at the front, others had elegant brass-grille doors, backed by pleated silk. A bookcase without doors is known in the trade as an 'open bookcase'. The revolving bookcase was invented during the 18th century. more...Small enough to stand on the floor beside a chair, it was an ideal companion for the bookworm, and is still being made. A large number of these were made from the 1930s to the 1950s for sale with a complete set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. However in the market place revolving bookcases are scarce.In Australia bookcases tended to follow the fashionable British designs. The finest examples were made in cedar, sometimes veneered with rarer native species. Others, towards the later part of the colonial period, were made of pine, frequently stained or varnished, and featuring the typical Edwardian machine carvings in the pediments and lower door panels.
A George III inverted breakfront bookcase, the cornice with moulded Chinese Chippendale decoration, above astral glazed doors, below four panelled doors, 255 cm wide approx., 40 cm deep. Provenance: Connoisseurs Stores. Melbourne, The Estate of Stanley Cra
A 19th century Australian cedar breakfront secretaire bookcase, with carved scrolls and shell cartouche to the arched pediment above three arched glazed doors, a central secretaire drawer above recessed doors and flanked by doors with applied carved scroll
A European walnut bookcase, later 19th century, with an extended concave cornice, a single glazed door above an extended section with a pulvinated and fluted frieze drawer, two burr walnut panelled doors upon a breakfront base with squashed bun feet, embel
A large Australian cedar and rose mahogany six door breakfront bookcase, circa 1850, the moulded cornice above three pairs of geometrically glazed doors divided by applied panelled columns, enclosing later adjustable shelves, above three pairs of panelled
An Australian cedar inverted breakfront bookcase, circa 1860 the moulded cornice above three glazed doors each with Gothic pointed arch decoration and applied foliate scroll-carved corbels, each enclosing three adjustable shelves, above three short ogee dr
A substantial 19th century Australian cedar breakfront library bookcase, reputedly part of the original furnishings of an Angus and Robertson bookstore, the stepped dental cornice above six arched glazed paneled doors enclosing shelves, the lower section f
A 19th century Australian colonial cedar Gothic library bookcase. Made for a convent in Ballarat, circa 1880, breakfront with a shaped moulded cornice, below a glazed door flanked by smaller glazed doors, the lower section with a three deep drawers, below
An Australian four door cedar breakfront bookcase, circa 1870, the everted pediment over twin central recessed glass fronted doors flanked by another pair of glass fronted doors featuring decorative corbels all raised upon a four door base cabinet with pla
An Edwardian blackwood secretaire bookcase, circa 1910, the breakfront stepped everted canopy with dentil moulding over four tall astragal glazed doors above a recessed nook all raised upon a breakfront base with a central dropdown secretaire with feature
An Australian Victorian cedar breakfront bookcase, the pointed arched pediment above four arched glazed doors enclosing adjustable shelves, the lower section with four arched panelled doors, on a plinth base. Width 221 cm. Depth 54 cm. Height 240 cm
Whytock & Reid of Edinburgh, George III style mahogany four door breakfront bookcase, the pediment fitted with twin pierced foliate capped swan neck mouldings, leading to the dentiled everted cornice, the doors having applied anthemion roundels, acanthus s
Large 19th century cedar breakfront secretaire bookcase with an ogee cornice, four arched, glazed upper doors, pilasters, a projecting lower section, a central secretaire drawer opening to a fitted interior, two further frieze drawers, four panelled lower
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