AN EXCEPTIONAL IRISH WALNUT PALLADIAN BREAKFRONT BOOKCASE BY ROBERT STRAHAN
Dublin, Ireland c. 1860-80; Retaining original plaque and stamp of Robert Strahan & Co.
Item # 609PQY22X
This inordinately fine breakfront is crafted with an eye towards the past, a work influenced by the classical elements of Chippendale executed by the firm of Robert Strahan in the third quarter of the 19th century. The bookcase exudes the strength and clarity of the Neoclassical, the triangular palladian crest projecting over stepped molding with dentil edging raised over fluted columns with intricately carved capitals flanking each of the open bookshelves and the center glazed cabinet. The capital are unique, each one with slight variations of flowers and placement of elements. The open bookshelf units have a green gilt-tooled leather drape under each shelf. The lower section features a pair of bevelled glass door cabinets flanking a raised-panel cabinet of the highest quality - each raised member is finely veneered with crotch-grains of a walnut branch. All three rest under an egg-and-dart molded rim.
The firm of Robert Strahan was originally established in 1776 and in 1845 opened another workshop at 5 Leinster Street and at 24-25 Henry Street, the location noted on the label inside of the present example. The firm moved to Abbey Street in 1870 and continued to produce work of the finest quality well into the 20th century. This breakfront is labeled inside of the upper glazed section “R. Strahan & Co., Henry St., Dublin” and also stamped on the top of the lower doors “Strahan & Co 94657”.
The piece was designed to be able to be safely transported without risk to the case - as such, it breaks down into nine pieces: the three upper cabinets, the three lower cabinets and the three horizontal planes. Screws, some original and many replaced, lock the case together in a permanent and incredibly stable manner - some time will be required upon receiving the cabinet to put all nine pieces together.
For the interior demanding exquisite quality, this exceedingly fine bookcase was crafted with exacting precision and skill.
Measurements: 80 1/2” H x 76” W x 21 1/4” D
Old refinish, beautiful patina to surface throughout; minor surface wear as expected. Some shrink gaps in horizontal surface (above lower cabinet). Lower mid cabinet left door lock clasp patched. Tooled leather drapes added. Some replaced blocking in unseen areas, a piece of thin wood added on top of crest to lock it firmly together (easily reversible). Many screws are replaced. One working key included.