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.
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.
Victorian burr walnut cabinet bookcase of neat proportions, with moulded cornice, adjustable shelving, enclosed by two blaze doors within acanthus top uprights, cupboard below enclosed by two panel doors within acanthus top uprights on box base
A Dutch inlaid walnut bureau bookcase, 18th century, with arched pediment inlaid with shell, ivory and tinted ivory above an upper section with a central cupboard and a series of drawers, a fall front opening to reveal further drawers, and two lower cupboa
A fine walnut three door Directoire style bookcase, early 20th century, richly figured throughout with oyster and burr veneer panelling, a central glazed section with a fine mottled marble top, shelved interior and flanked by pillar cupboards with concave
A pair of impressive Art Deco wall units with original fittings, burr walnut with fitted leather interior, bronze nickle plated handles, four doors and sectional shelving, 222 cm high, 182 cm wide, 55 cm deep
An Edwardian walnut secretaire bookcase, early 20th century, the bookcase with a simple architectural pediment above a pair of framed glazed doors and three shelves, an extended lower section with a panelled relief carved drop front drawer with brass swing
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 Victorian walnut bookcase, second half 19th century, the bookcase having an ogee shaped extended cornice above two glazed doors opening to three shelves, the extended lower section with an ogee frieze drawer and two recessed panelled cupboards above a pl
A Victorian walnut bookcase, second half 19th century, with a simple architectural cornice above two glazed doors opening to three shelves, the extended lower section with an ogee shaped frieze drawer and two panelled cupboard doors below upon a plinth bas
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
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
An unusual French walnut bookcase cabinet, early 20th century. Possibly of ecclesiastical origin with a stepped extended top and a central arched section with a pair of deeply recessed slender doors opening to shelving, flanked by open bookcases supported
An exceptional Queen Anne - George I period walnut double-dome bureau bookcase of small proportions, with ogee moulded cornice above a pair of shaped moulded mirrored doors, the mirrors with soft edge bevels and cut with attractive starbursts and crescents
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