A Georgian, mahogany Portable Book Cabinet.
For travel, the two halves of the Book Cabinet fold in towards each other to close, much like a book. When closed, a box is formed making it far easier to transport. For use, the two halves are opened to their full extent to give a three foot wide book cabinet.
The doors have brass grills which are backed by replaced pleated green silk. The right-side interior has a single shelf adjustable to 16 different positions. The left side is a little different to most book cabinets in that it has a drawer to the base with a shelf above which is adjustable to 15 different positions. The drawer has a good, flush brass campaign handle and a single divider to the interior from front to back. The board above the drawer has three grooves to take removable divider boards which have long since gone. These boards would give four pigeonhole compartments to organise papers etc.
Campaign Book Cabinets were made throughout most of the 19th century, with this one from the 1820s to 40s. They were part of an officer’s portable entertainment system along with games and artist’s materials. With a voyage to India taking six months, some good books were essential.
This example is a little shorter in height than most, but it is brass bound, which many aren’t. Its well made with three hinges uniting the two sections when you might expect two. It has some wear with marks and scratches etc. but this is to be expected for a portable piece of furniture. A good looking Book Cabinet. Early to mid 19th century.
The closed size is given.