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.
Learn about Secretaire Bookcase
A double-heightened piece, dating from the second half of the 18th century. It consists of a secretaire in the lower section, the upper part being a glass-fronted bookcase. Very useful pieces of furniture, they were made until Edwardian times.
A Victorian cedar secretaire bookcase, second half 19th century, with an architectural pediment above two glazed doors with three shelves, a central lockable fall front section below flanked by four small graduated drawers with Wellington chest style locki
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
George III mahogany secretaire bookcase, c. 1800, the upper section with a moulded cornice above two astragal glazed doors, the lower section with a fall flap inlaid with satinwood and ebony, above two short and three long drawers with brass handles, raise
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 late 19th century Australian cedar secretaire bookcase, with two glazed upper doors, above a secretaire drawer enclosing short drawers and storage compartments, two panelled doors to the lower section, plinth base, 116.5 x 237 x 52 cm
A Victorian walnut cylinder roll top secretaire bookcase, circa 1880s, with brass maker's plaque for Steinfeld Levinson & Co, Melbourne, having an architectural cornice with an arched and galleried pediment, two glazed doors flanked by pilasters above a bu
Antique mid 19th century Australian cedar secretaire bookcase, fitted with arched glazed two door top, above a single fall front drawer, revealing a fitted interior, the drawer front crossed to the outer edge, fitted with turned knobs. The two door base, f
A George III walnut veneered secretaire bookcase, with an elaborate fitted interior to the secretaire compartment including secret drawers. 206 cm high, 107 cm wide, 84 cm deep. Provenance: Purchased from Robert Haines Gallery, Sydney
A George III mahogany secretaire bookcase the astragal glazed upper doors with Gothic arched glazing bars, above a secretaire drawer and two panelled doors, bracket feet, 124.5 x 243 x 59 cm Provenance: purchased from Kent Antiques, Melbourne, 4th October
A large cedar secretaire bookcase, Australian, circa 1850, 242 cm high, 136 cm wide, 55 cm deep. Literature: Australian Furniture: Pictorial History and Dictionary, 1788-1938, Kevin Fahy and Andrew Simpson, Casuarina Press Ptd Ltd, Woollahra plate 45 (illu
A 19th century Australian colonial cedar bookcase, with a shaped cornice, above a pair of glazed doors flanked by corbels, the lower section with a secretaire drawer flanked by corbels, above a pair of panel doors supported on a plinth. 233 cm high, 128 cm
A cedar and mahogany secretaire bookcase, circa 1840, constructed predominantly from solid Australian cedar with mahogany veneers, the moulded cornice above a pair of glazed doors with double arched top and bottom panels and simple geometric glazing bar, e
A good New Zealand colonial solid and veneered mottled kauri bookcase secretaire, the tall cabinet back of two glazed doors, each with two long Gothic arch topped detail, original glass, enclosing four original adjustable shelves, flared stepped pediment,
An Australian late 19th century blackwood secretaire bookcase, the tapered cornice above a pair of glazed doors with adjustable shelves, the lower section with a secretaire drawer, enclosing fitted drawers and pigeon above a pair of panel doors on bracket
A 19th century Australian cedar secretaire bookcase, with a chamfered cornice above two glazed doors enclosing shelves, the projecting lower section with a fall front secretaire drawer opening to a fitted interior above two cupboard doors, raised on squat
An Australian full cedar secretaire bookcase, circa 1850, the moulded cornice above a pair of rounded arched glazed doors enclosing two adjustable shelves above a secretaire drawer enclosing an arrangement of pigeon holes and drawers, above a pair of arche
An Australian full cedar secretaire bookcase of large proportions Circa 1840, circa 1840 the moulded cornice above a pair of arched glazed doors enclosing three adjustable shelves, above a secretaire drawer with simple hook release mechanism, enclosing an
A good New Zealand colonial rimu bookcase secretaire, the top with two glazed panelled doors enclosing adjustable shelves, ogee stepped cornice, scroll and floral carved detail, the base with a fitted secretaire drawer with Maori decorated (Tutenberg), bra
A rare, early Australian cedar secretaire bookcase, circa 1835, the moulded cornice above a pair of raised half arch panelled doors with lotus leaf carved decoration, enclosing shelves above a secretaire drawer enclosing pigeon holes and drawers above two
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
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
An Australian two door cedar wardrobe, circa 1830, the ogee moulded cornice above a pair of matched ribbon grained panelled doors with wide cross-banding and a stepped arch to the top, flanked by a pair of plain columns with turned capitals and bases, encl
An important early Australian cedar secretaire bookcase, NSW, circa 1830, the ogee moulded pediment with cross-banded decoration above a pair of geometrically glazed doors enclosing two shelves, flanked by a pair of columns with acanthus leaf capitals and
A fine early Scottish Victorian mahogany secretaire bookcase with a shaped moulded cornice, below a pair of arched glazed doors, the lower section with a secretaire drawer, the fall enclosing drawers and pigeon holes flanked by corbels below a pair of arch
A mid-19th century Australian Colonial mahogany library bookcase, with a shaped pediment, a pair of rectangular glazed doors, flanked by pilasters, the lower section with secretaire drawer, with full enclosing fitted interior, below a pair of panelled door
Important and early cedar secretaire bookcase, previously undocumented with 18th century design elements and Georgian master crafted cabinet work, with Hepplewhite inspired swan necked pediment with Chippendale pinwheel adornment. Georgian 13 pane glazing
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
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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