Federal Bookcase with Brass Paw Feet, New York, circa 1805-1810
In three parts; the arched pediment above a bookcase with glazed doors opening to three adjustable shelves above a case with a pair of cross banded paneled cabinet doors flanked by carved feather and thistle elements forming the capitals of reeded pilasters, raised on short turned vase-form Sheraton legs terminating in brass paw feet. Woods: Mahogany veneer, White Pine, Tulip Poplar.
H: 98″ W: 54¼” D: 18″
Condition: Excellent: Finials are modern replacements, two replaced glass panels, small veneer patches to lower doors, brass feet restored to their original matte and burnished lacquered appearance. Wood refinished with shellac in the manner of the period.
*Currently on view at the Gallery at 200 LEX in the New York Design Center, 200 Lexington Avenue, (at 32nd Street), floor 10, New York City.
This is a rare Sheraton form with distinctive features including thistle carving, brass paw feet and cross banded cabinet doors in the manner of Duncan Phyfe. It has three original, fully adjustable shelves. This is the only known example of this form.
Because the pattern of glazing can be seen in plate two of “The Edinburgh Book of Prices for Manufacturing Cabinet-Work,” in 1805 and 1811, p.130 and p.296, respectively, we can deduce accurately the year it was made. Price books were designed to establish the rate or price that master cabinetmakers were to pay their journeymen to make a specific part of a piece of furniture, and by extension, the whole piece. Today, they are useful in documenting what styles were in production at a given time.