Box House Antiques

William & Mary walnut double dome bureau bookcase/ cabinet



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A rare William & Mary period walnut double-dome bureau bookcase / cabinet. Circa 1685.

Of compact size and proportions.
In excellent overall condition with old, waxed, well-patinated surfaces of very good colour.

This bureau bookcase, or cabinet, divides into three separate sections (which helps date it to the last quarter of the 17th century). The bold double-dome pediment and cross-grain mouldings are typical of this period, and are repeated in the side returns. The book-matched, hand-cut veneers are well figured throughout, and are contained within herringbone lines.

The bookcase section has candle slides, contains shelves and fitted drawers. Gilded finials are later.

The centre section with a quarter-veneered fall reveals a fitted interior, concealed well and a secret compartment.

The writing section is raised on a three-drawer base with an unusual and boldly-arcaded apron, in turn raised on its apparently original walnut bun feet.
The drawer dividers are faced with cross-grain walnut ‘D’ mouldings.

The brass engraved mounts are correct for period but not original, however the locks and hinges are.
It is unusual to encounter these early bookcases / cabinets constructed in three stages; an indication of a transition taking place from the 17th into the 18th century.

This is a fine, rare and sophisticated piece of late-17th century walnut furniture, its form sometimes referred to as an escritoire, a scrutoire, or a writing cabinet.

W 3’2″
D 23″ max
H 6’7″ excl finials.

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