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.
The Humphrey Gray Secretaire Bookcase, rare and important Australian Colonial Cedar, Tasmanian origin, circa 1835, 232 cm high, 124 cm wide, 58 cm deep, Provenance, Orginally made for wealthy free settler Humphrey Gray (1784-1868) who emergrated to Van Die
Late Regency mahogany breakfront bookcase, c. 1830, of compact size, the astragal glazed upper section with four cabinet doors above a fitted secretaire with kneehole and flanked by cupboard doors, height 250 cm depth 50 cm width 188 cm
A fine Australian cedar secretaire bookcase, Tasmanian origin, most likely Launceston, circa 1860, cross banded in cedar, interior fitted with huon pine drawer fronts and full cedar secordary timbers, generously proportioned, 282 cm high, 152 cm wide, 62 c
George IV mahogany secretaire bookcase, with brass inlay decoration, the astragal glazed upper section enclosing shelves, the lower section with well fitted secretaire drawer, above three long drawers on turned bun feet, height 242 cm width 120 cm depth 57
An outstanding Regency mahogany bookcase, with swan neck above a pair of astragal glazed doors, the lower section with secretaire drawer, above graduated drawers on paw feet. Approx. 227 cm high, 106 cm wide, 52 cm deep
A fine Victorian breakfront secretaire bookcase, circa 1870., with maker's mark of A. Blain & Son, Liverpool, with an architectural pediment above four arched and carved glazed cupboards, the extended lower section with a central secretaire with a finely f
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
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 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
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
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
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 Georgian mahogany astragal glazed, secretaire bookcase, bureau, the top part with two doors and three interior shelves, the base with pullout shelf, over fold-out door with tooled leather writing surface; the interior with stationery compartments and dra
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,
An English Regency bow fronted mahogany bookcase, circa 1810 having a bowed pediment to the top, two astragal glazed doors opening to reveal adjustable shelves, below which there is a full width secretaire drawer with ormolu ring handles, opening to reveal
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 fine quality George III flame mahogany bookcase secretaire, the top with two panel glazed doors, arch to the top of each, stepped pediment, enclosing three fitted shelves, the base with four front secretaire enclosing a fitted quality interior with drawe
A mahogany, two door bookcase, secretaire, with two door astragal glazed top and adjustable interior shelves. the base has a pullout secretaire drawer, with foldout tooled leather writing surface and rear interior stationery drawers, letter rack compartmen
A Georgian secretaire bookcase, early 19th century, of generous proportions, having an architectural pediment with a pair of navette shaped astragal doors above an extended lower section with a fall front fitted drawer and three further drawers below, all
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
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