GEORGE III STYLE MAHOGANY BREAKFRONT LIBRARY BOOKCASE AND SECRETARY DESK
England, circa early-to-mid 19th century
Item # 105FPP14W
A remarkably large library breakfront bookcase of the George III taste from the second quarter of the 19th century, this imposing cabinet is the very essence of presence. With glazed doors portioned with applied astragal moldings, the three bookcase sections open to reveal adjustable shelves. The center of the breakfront features three individual writing areas appearing to be drawers, but instead feature a "butler" desk with a fall-front that reveals pigeon-hole letter organizing slots on the left and right fall-fronts and in the center fall-front having tiny drawers flanking pigeon-holes. This is situated over three sections of blind-door cupboards below, opening to reveal generous storage with the drawer-lined interiors. The form is angular with stepped-in banded inlays surrounding the flamed mahogany veneers, book-matched in the fall-front drawers and with pleasing vertical grain in the lower doors.
It breaks down into nine pieces for a more convenient transport: note, the glass and wood doors against the middle cabinet actually connect directly to the central cabinets; these need to be unscrewed from the central cabinets before being moved or assembled.
Measurements: 116 1/2" W (at the middle) 117" W (at the crest) x 23 1/8" D x 94" H
Individual measurements of each component are: [crest] 117" W x 18 1/4" D x 5" H; [middle bookcase] 46 3/4" W x 16 1/2" D x 47 1/4" H; [side bookcases] 34" W x 13 1/8" D x 47 1/4" H; [central desk section] 116 1/2" W x 23 1/8" D x 12 1/4" H; [middle cabinet] 48 3/8" W x 23 1/4" D x approx. 27" H; [side cabinets] 33" W x 19 3/4" D x approx. 27" H; [base molding] 115 1/4" W x 23 3/4" D x 4" H
Condition Report: A fine overall presentation with nice even color throughout. All doors swing freely and locks function nicely, though with some gap between the doors in both the bookcase and the lower cabinets. Glass is in good repair and free of cracks. The three "desk" sections are a bit snug when pulling them out. Surfaces throughout show age and use, though the varnish remains relatively bright and clear; scuffs, scratches, some varnish blooming (to the upper right side of the lower cabinet), shrinkage cracks and other flaws are present as expected from moderate use. There are old veneer patches, including to the top drawers of the lower cabinets, in several areas of the base molding, cockbead molding replacements on a few areas of the drawers; the crest is missing a piece of molding on the right side; there is a mismatch between the burlwood-and-stringer inlay in the crest and the crossbanded inlay of the rest of the piece, suggesting the crest is perhaps not original (or was restored). Functional keys available for all locks except the middle writing section. As a large and complex piece, we are always happy to chat via video or send custom images and video to help illuminate any condition questions and also provide a greater sense of scale.