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Antique English Shallow Mahogany Bookcase Display Cabinet Embossed Leather Cabinet Doors England circa 1880

An antique English shallow mahogany bookcase/display cabinet from England circa 1880. This piece has several features that give it a unique appearance and graphic impact and enable it to be used in a variety of interior design applications. Please notice the surprisingly shallow depth of this cabinet that renders it wonderfully useful where a large piece is necessary to balance the elements of a room but one with a normal depth would be too bulky. The overall proportion of the bookcase is exceptionally pleasing with the top cabinet well suited to the base. The crown at the top has a stepped cornice set atop a frieze of well figured mahogany chosen for its straight grain that creates a vertical pattern. Directly beneath the crown and evenly dividing the cabinet doors inset with the original glass panels are three bold corbels or brackets. Traditionally these forms supported the ceiling beams that ran the length of a room to hold up the roof and here their reference to architecture gives the cabinet a solidity and interest that plain unadorned surfaces would not. Please look closely at the doors in the upper section. They appear to be a pair of doors on the left and right but in actuality the left set is a pair that open outward while the door on the right is set with a single pair of hinges on the right hand side that enables the entire double door to swing open. Both these doors on each side have a simple brass escutcheon (lock plate) that guides the key that opens the doors as they are meant to be Kept locked in order to secure the valuable pieces placed inside. The long panes of glass allow anything displayed to be seen clearly and the shelves inside are adjustable for maximum flexibility in the display arrangement. The lower doors are arranged in this same manner with a set of double doors on the left with a single cabinet door on the right. But the amazingly striking feature of the lower doors is the inset panels that are not mahogany timber but panels of embossed leather set within raised borders of moulding. The symmetrical pattern of octagonal medallions have a depth that allows them to catch the light as it passes over the surface emphasizing their three dimensional effect. This is a highly unusual treatment for cabinet doors and along with the difference in double and single cabinets indicate this bookcase was a private commission for a collector who possessed specific requirements. The entire piece stands upon well proportioned bracket feet that elevate the cabinet gracefully and whose slightly curved profile relates to the corbels employed at the top. Another advantage to this cabinet is it is quite handsome when viewed from the side. The line of the profile as it moves from top to bottom is visually intriguing and gives added value when placing the piece in a contemporary or traditional interior. Another advantage is the value this piece represents because a reproduction is impossible to procure today.

# DJ286

DIMENSIONS

72.00" w x 15.00" d x 92.00" h

182.88cm w x 38.10cm d x 233.68cm h

A shallow mahogany bookcase/display cabinet from England c. 1880. This piece has several features that give it a unique appearance and graphic impact and enable it to be used in a variety of interior design applications. Please notice the surprisingly shallow depth of this cabinet that renders it wonderfully useful where a large piece is necessary to balance the elements of a room but one with a normal depth would be too bulky. The overall proportion of the bookcase is exceptionally pleasing with the top cabinet well suited to the base. The crown at the top has a stepped cornice set atop a frieze of well figured mahogany chosen for its straight grain that creates a vertical pattern. Directly beneath the crown and evenly dividing the cabinet doors inset with the original glass panels are three bold corbels or brackets. Traditionally these forms supported the ceiling beams that ran the length of a room to hold up the roof and here their reference to architecture gives the cabinet a solidity and interest that plain unadorned surfaces would not. Please look closely at the doors in the upper section. They appear to be a pair of doors on the left and right but in actuality the left set is a pair that open outward while the door on the right is set with a single pair of hinges on the right hand side that enables the entire double door to swing open. Both these doors on each side have a simple brass escutcheon (lock plate) that guides the key that opens the doors as they are meant to be Kept locked in order to secure the valuable pieces placed inside. The long panes of glass allow anything displayed to be seen clearly and the shelves inside are adjustable for maximum flexibility in the display arrangement. The lower doors are arranged in this same manner with a set of double doors on the left with a single cabinet door on the right. But the amazingly striking feature of the lower doors is the inset panels that are not mahogany timber but panels of embossed leather set within raised borders of moulding. The symmetrical pattern of octagonal medallions have a depth that allows them to catch the light as it passes over the surface emphasizing their three dimensional effect. This is a highly unusual treatment for cabinet doors and along with the difference in double and single cabinets indicate this bookcase was a private commission for a collector who possessed specific requirements. The entire piece stands upon well proportioned bracket feet that elevate the cabinet gracefully and whose slightly curved profile relates to the corbels employed at the top. Another advantage to this cabinet is it is quite handsome when viewed from the side. The line of the profile as it moves from top to bottom is visually intriguing and gives added value when placing the piece in a contemporary or traditional interior. Another advantage is the value this piece represents because a reproduction is impossible to procure today.