Antique Inlaid Flame Mahogany Three Door Breakfront Library Bookcase 19th C

GBP 10,500.00

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Object Description

This is a beautiful antique late Victorian Sheraton Revival top quality flame mahogany and marquetry inlaid three door breakfront bookcase, masterfully crafted in rich solid mahogany, circa 1890 in date.

It is a truly grand piece decorated with profuse marquetry inlaid decoration which includes floral motifs, urns, floral arabesques and other Sheraton motifs. It features a flared and pierced swan-neck cornice above three astragal glazed doors in the upper section enclosing shelves which can all be adjusted according to the height of your books. There are four shelves to each of the top sections.

The lower section has three doors, the centre door features two internal oak lined drawers and they all enclose central shelves.

Raised on a skirted plinth with shaped bracket feet there is no mistaking its superb quality and very grand design,which is certain to make it a talking point in your home and stand proud in whichever room you choose to display it.

Complete with original working locks and keys.

Condition:
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned polished and waxed in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 246 cm x Width 199 cm x Depth 52 cm

Dimensions in inches:
Height 8 feet, 1 inch x Width 6 foot, 6 inches x Depth 1 foot, 8 inches

Thomas Sheraton
(1751 – 1806) was an English cabinetmaker and one of the leading exponents of Neoclassicism. Sheraton gave his name to a style of furniture characterised by a feminine refinement of late Georgian styles and became the most powerful source of inspiration behind the furniture of the late 18th century. His four-part Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterers’ Drawing Book greatly influenced English and American design.

Sheraton was apprenticed to a cabinetmaker, but he became better known as an inventor, artist, mystic, and religious controversialist. Initially he wrote on theological subjects, describing himself as a “mechanic, one who never had the advantage of collegiate or academical education.” He settled in London c. 1790, and his trade card gave his address as Wardour Street, Soho.

Supporting himself mainly as an author, Sheraton wrote Drawing Book (1791), the first part of which is devoted to somewhat naive, verbose dissertations on perspective, architecture, and geometry and the second part, on which his reputation is certainly based, is filled with plates that are admirable in draftsmanship, form, and proportion.

In 1803 Sheraton, who had been ordained a Baptist minister in 1800, published his Cabinet Dictionary (with plates), containing An Explanation of All Terms Used in the Cabinet, Chair and Upholstery Branches with Dictionary for Varnishing, Polishing and Gilding.

Some of the designs in this work, venturing well into the Regency style, are markedly unconventional. That he was a fashionable cabinetmaker is remarkable, for he was poor, his home of necessity half shop. It cannot be presumed that he was the maker of those examples even closely resembling his plates.

Although Sheraton undoubtedly borrowed from other cabinetmakers, most of the plates in his early publications are supposedly his own designs. The term Sheraton has been recklessly bestowed upon vast quantities of late 18th-century painted and inlaid satinwood furniture, but, properly understood and used in a generic sense, Sheraton is an appropriate label recognizing a mastermind behind the period. The opinion that his lack of success was caused by his assertive character is hypothetical.

Flame Mahogany
Thomas Sheraton – 18th century furniture designer, once characterized mahogany as “best suited to furniture where strength is demanded as well as a wood that works up easily, has a beautiful figure and polishes so well that it is an ornament to any room in which it may be placed.” Matching his words to his work, Sheraton designed much mahogany furniture. The qualities that impressed Sheraton are particularly evident in a distinctive pattern of wood called “flame mahogany.”

The flame figure in the wood is revealed by slicing through the face of the branch at the point where it joins another element of the tree.

Marquetry
is decorative artistry where pieces of material of different colours are inserted into surface wood veneer to form intricate patterns such as scrolls or flowers.

The technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles, jaspers and semi-precious stones. This work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian “Cosmati”-work of inlaid marble floors, altars and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the “hardstones” used: onyx, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli and colored marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is completely covered in a colored marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique.

Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centers of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century. The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers (ébénistes) and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs.

Our reference: A3873

Object Details

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