Antique Victorian 10ft Four Door Burr Walnut Library Bookcase 19th Century

GBP 28,500.00

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Object Description

A superb antique English Victorian top quality burr walnut and ebonised four door breakfront library bookcase, attributed to Lamb of Manchester, Circa 1850 in date.

This magnificent bookcase is made from the highest quality burr walnut with ebonised inlay and features a breakfront cornice over four glazed doors enclosing sixteen adjustable shelves all between fluted columns. The base with four cupboard doors enclosing spacious cupboards also with adjustable shelves.

The glazing and the shelves are all original, the drawer linings and the bookcase back are all made from solid mahogany and it is raised on a plinth base.

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 working locks and keys, by the renowned Victorian lock maker, Hobbs & Co.

The bookcase is in excellent condition having been cleaned, polished and waxed in our workshops. Please see photos for confirmation of its condition.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 260 x Width 291 x Depth 60

Dimensions in inches:
Height 8 foot, 6 inches x Width 9 foot, 7 inches x Depth 2 feet

Lamb of Manchester
was a renowned cabinet making firm, founded by James Lamb. He was a Manchester cabinetmaker born in 1816, he joined the family business and turned it into a high class interior design, decorating and furnishing firm. The firm had a cabinet making workshop in Castleford and their main gallery in John Dalton Street, Manchester, with vast furniture showrooms over three floors showing their quality pieces for sale. The firm was to go onto international success winning medals at the London 1862 Exhibition and the Paris 1867 Exhibition.

Examples of his work can be found in Manchester Town Hall, Manchester City Art Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum and Lamb also provided furniture for Abberley Hall.

James Lamb died in 1903, his obituary appeared in The Journal of Decorative Art and British Decorators where it stated that: His name was a synonym for the best in everything that he did from 1850 – 1885, and he towered over everybody in Lancashire and Yorkshire as maker of high class furniture. His name for 50years stood as a landmark for all that was best in both spheres of industrial art. They employed famous designers of the caliber of Charles Bevan, Bruce Talbert and W.J Estall and were an important name in the Aesthetic movement.

Walnut & Burr Walnut
Walnut is a hard, dense, tight- grained wood that polishes to a very smooth finish. It is a popular and attractive wood whose colour ranges from near white in the sapwood to a dark hew in the heartwood. When dried in a kiln, walnut wood tends to develop a dull brown colour, but when air-dried can become a rich purplish-brown. Because of its colour, hardness and grain, it is a prized furniture and carving wood. Walnut veneer was highly priced and the cost would reflect the ‘fanciness’ of the veneer – the more decorative, then the more expensive and desirable.

Burr walnut refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produces some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.

Walnut “burrs” were often used to make fabulous furniture. Veneer sliced from walnut burl is one of the most valuable and highly prized by cabinet makers and prestige car manufacturers and is also a favourite material for shotgun stocks.

Hobbs & Co
(1812 – 1891) born in America, when Alfred was only three years old his farther died leaving the family destitute. Beginning at the age of ten, A. C. Hobbs worked at a variety of jobs ranging from farm help to wood carving, carriage building, tinsmithing, and harness making. While an apprentice at the Sandwich Glass Company, he learned to make doorknobs and became interested in locks. For a while he was a partner in a small firm of Jones & Hobbs, lock makers. About 1840 he became a salesman for the Day & Newell Company – one of America’s foremost lock makers. Here he earned a reputation as an expert lock picker. He found that the best way to sell his Companies locks was to pick the locks of his competitors.

In 1851 he was sent to the Great Exhibition in London where he successfully picked the famous Chubb and Bramah locks. ( “Great Lock Controversy” .)

Our reference: A1829

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)20 8809 9605

Dealer Location

Manor Warehouse
318 Green Lanes
N4 1BX

Please note that we are also open on alternate Saturdays. Please call to confirm.

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