Inlaid Satinwood Bureau Bookcase

7 ft. 10 ins. high x 3 ft. 6 ins. wide (lower carcase) ; 3 ft. 4 ins. (upper carcase).

I ft. l\ ins. deep (lower carcase): 11S ins. deep (upper carcase). Hate nhnnt T7<«

box. The top drawer is enclosed by a slide running in grooves in the sides, lipped with boxwood and lined with green cloth. This slide when pushed back discloses a nest of eleven drawers very beautifully made, with J-inch fronts and ^-inch sides, with miniature dovetails. The drawer fronts are of satinwood edged with purple wood, the sides and bottoms of mahogany. The cabinet work in this interior is extremely fine and exact. The four drawers in the centre of the lower carcase are graduated, the fronts being in height, from the plinth upwards, 6§- inches, 5f inches, 4! inches, and 4b inches. The extreme depth of the lower carcase, from back to front, is 1 foot iof inches. A noticeable point in the whole piece is that all the wood thicknesses are net—that is, i-inch

" stuff" is exactly an inch thick. The significance of this point has already been pointed out in the second volume of this book.

The design of the entire piece is equal!)' as fine and as studied as its workmanship. The general character is that of the Hepplewhite school, but there are certain indications which suggest a date between 1790 and 1800. The cresting of the wings with the hollowed gables is very unusual, and at first sight appears to be redundant, but a lengthy association with this bookcase will show that this detail has been carefully considered. This cresting of the entire cornice of bookcases and china cabinets appears to have been a familiar one at this period, as the next example, Figs. 289 and 290, has the same feature in a modified form. This bureau bookcase is a curious compound of fine workmanship and faulty designing. There are none of the lofty and dignified proportions of the library bookcase, but the veneers are well chosen— a combination of East and West India satinwoods—and the purple-wood bandings of the drawers blend well with the pale __lemon yellow of the satinwood. The

Fig. 290. THE BUREAU BOOKCASF, Fig. 289, shown open.

handles are beautifully chased and silvered. The interior of the bureau is shown in Fig. 290, and behind the doors in the wings of the upper part are six small drawers 011 each side. The entire piece has an aspect of clumsiness, owing to the meagre amount of glass in the upper part and the disproportionate height of the lower carcase. The latticework of the central door is weak in design, an astragal intersecting with a bolected ovolo.

Fig. 291 is one of the cylindrical-fronted bureau cabinets which were popular at this period, the interior of the bureau being shown in the next illustration. The painting of flowers is unworthy of the piece itself, and has every appearance of being a subsequent addition. Although this cabinet is later in character than the school of Hepple-white—especially noticeable in the general appearance of the upper part—the typical Hepplewhite French foot will be noticed. The fact, of course, is that a

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