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 Victorian Tasmanian cedar secretaire bookcase with 3 shelves and glazed doors to upper section and lower section containing secretaire draw with 4 small birds-eye Huon pine drawers and pigeon holes over a pair of cupboard doors, circa 1860, 245 cm high,
A cedar and huon pine bookcase, of compact proportions with a projecting cornice, above two glazed panelled doors, the lower section with two solid doors inset with huon pine veneered panels, plinth base, 77.5 x 222 x 34 cm
An outstanding 19th century Australian colonial cedar cylinder front bookcase, with moulded cornice above a pair of glazed doors, the lower section with a cylinder front enclosing a Huon pine interior, above a pair of panel doors flanked by corbels
Colonial birds eye huon pine glass top bookcase with rolled drawer front flat pilasters and carved capitals. Huon pine secondaries, 225 cm high x 135 wide x 51 cm deep. Provenance: Property of Reverend Harlan Delbridge and Dr Dorothy Delbridge (Tasmania's
Fine quality Tasmanian Colonial huon pine glazed bookcase with two glazed doors to the top section flanked by carved corbels above a full width drawer and two panelled doors (early Tasmanian storage Company label to inside of glazed door)
A cedar secretaire bookcase, circa 1845, with a deep reverse moulded cornice over shield panel glazed doors, the base with moulded cross banding above a hinged secretaire fitted internally with both pigeon holes and birdseye huon pine drawers with ebony kn
A cedar secretaire bookcase Tasmanian, circa 1860-65 110 x 205x xx 48 cm fitted archives with huon pine small drawer facings. Width 110 cm. Depth 48 cm. Height 205 cm. Provenance: Private Collection, Tasmania
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