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.
An important mid 19th century breakfront library bookcase in mahogany fitted with four glazed doors to the top section, four panelled doors below and carved corbels (constructed to be totally broken down into separate pieces for easy removal). Provenance:
A Georgian mahogany bookcase bureau c.1790, and later, the upper section with two door glazed cabinet with three interior shelves, the bureau having fold-out door with tooled leather writing surface. The interior with drawers, letter racks and stationery c
A George III mahogany, two door bookcase bureau with secretaire, circa 1790 the top with two astragal glazed doors and three interior shelves, the lower with pullout secretaire drawer having interior drawers, stationery compartments over three lower drawer
A George III fiddleback mahogany tulipwood crossbanded secretaire bookcase, English, circa 1810, 240 cm high, 120 cm wide, 40 cm deep. Provenance: Christie’s, The Leo Schofield Collection, 6 November 1992, Lot 363
A George III mahogany glazed bookcase cabinet, the pediment top with architectural flared cornice above the two multi-panelled original glazed panelled doors enclosing adjustable shelves, the base with two large plain panelled doors with quarter-round moul
Georgian mahogany bookcase, 19th century, the rectangular molded cornice above a pair of glass doors enclosing two shelves over a long drawer, above a two panelled door cupboard, height 200 cm width 92 cm depth 46 cm
Regency mahogany secretaire bookcase, the moulded cornice over a pair of glass doors enclosing two glass shelves, the secretaire drawer fitted with eight small drawers and pigeon holes, above a pair of doors, height 223 cm width 112 cm depth 53.5 cm
A George II mahogany bureau bookcase, circa 1755, the Palladian pediment with central scrolling cartouche, above two glazed doors opening to reveal shelves, below which there is a fall front opening to reveal compartments and drawers, above two half width
A William IV mahogany breakfront secretaire bookcase, with satin wood stringing and ivory escutcheon, the fallfron drawer revealing pigeon holles and drwers, (Gr patent double pin locks) 152 width x 46 depth x 233 cm height
An impressive Victorian mahogany library book-case, 1860s/70s, of three-bay break-front form, the upper section with moulded cornice with modillions above six sliding glazed doors enclosing adjustable shelves, the projecting lower section with six panelled
An Empire-Stye ormolu-mounted mahogany bibliotheque, first half 20th century, the moulded cornice above a pair of arch-glazed and panelled doors enclosing adjustable shelves, on a plinth base with paw feet, the front with neo-classical ormolu mounts throug
A late Victorian Aesthetic mahogany bookcase, the rectangular top with spindle gallery and ball finials above velvet lined concave backed recess with turned column supports above bookcase with open shelving, 137 cm width x 28 cm depth x 140 cm high.
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