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- A rare early-18th century, walnut bureau bookcase with a double-domed cornice
A rare early-18th century, walnut bureau bookcase with a double-domed cornice
In two parts. The double-domed top with replaced finials, and single side domes, above a double cavetto cornice. The frieze with two doors faced with single and double-bead mouldings, decorated with shaped moulded panels, and with original hinges, replaced escutcheon and lock. The interior fitted with shelves, pigeon holes, and two drawers, one repaired. The base with a fall-front bureau faced with single-bead mouldings, with writing slope, original escutcheon, lock and hinges. The interior fitted with pigeon holes and drawers, a well revealing a secret drawer with another possibly removed, and a writing pad with replaced velvet. The frieze with lopers above a deep moulding running around the front and along the sides with original carrying handles. The two short and three long drawers with replaced handles and later locks, and faced with single bead mouldings. Standing on replaced bun feet. The carcass constructed from pine, and the drawers lined in oak. English, first quarter of the 18th century. 4057860.
Bureaux in two parts evolved in the early-18th century after the introduction of a sloping front in conventional bureaux. The increased height of rooms led to a demand for tall pieces of furniture, and the advantages of placing an upper structure on the narrow shelf at the top of a bureau was a natural progression. These bureaux followed the fashion of contemporary cabinets and were either decorated with japan work, or made from walnut. The double-domed cornice was adopted in cabinet work in the last decade of the 17th century, and sometimes surmounted by an elaborate cresting. The walnut bureaux cabinets were constructed with either moulded panels in the doors of the top, or bevelled and engraved mirrors made in Vauxhall. The interiors were fitted with ingenuity and practicality, with drawers and open compartments for ledgers, with secret receptacles hidden within
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