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A massive late-19th /early-20th century, oak, Gothic revival, glazed bookcase



Dates
1875 - 1910
Dimensions
289.00cm wide (113.78 inches wide)
258.00cm high (101.57 inches high)
49.00cm deep (19.29 inches deep)
Description / Expertise
This ‘antiquarian’ bookcase was made in the Gothic revival style and would have, most likely, been made for a large country house. The Gothic revival was a fashionable movement during the second half of the nineteenth century and the ornament has its roots in medieval Gothic architecture. The ornament used on the bookcase is loosely reminiscent of that found at Oxford Cathedral and Merton College, Oxford chapel. The cabinet maker has selected high quality oak with numerous medullary rays to create beautiful figuring to form part of the decoration on the visible elements. For the carcass he has economically employed pine for the shelving and plywood on the back. This early use of plywood in furniture design is highly innovative as this new material was stronger, lighter and more stable than natural timbers.

The bookcase is in two sections. The upper section is surmounted by a deep ogee moulded cornice and the lower section with a deep ogee moulding. Both sections have two pairs of glazed doors with Gothic inspired tracery spandrels and chamfered detailing on each inside corner. The doors retain their original brass hinges, catches and have separate working locks with keys for the upper and lower sections. The upper section has four adjustable pine shelves and the lower section three adjustable pine shelves, some with remains of paper labels, all held in position with wooden pegs. The lower section stands on an oak plinth. The back demonstrates an early and innovative use of plywood. The sides are plain. In original condition.

External Measurments :
Upper section : cornice length 289 cm., height 164 cm, depth 39 cm
Lower section : plinth width 282 cm, height 94 cm, depth 56.50cm

Internal measurements :
Upper section : length 133 cm, height 144 cm, depth 26.50 cm
Lower section : length 133c m, height 72.50 cm, depth 49 cm
Shelf thickness 2 cm
Medium
oak and glass
Origin
United Kingdom
Provenance
This bookcase has been in a solicitor's office for the last 30 years.
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