Tag Archives: Recesses

Georgian Mahogany Revolving Bookcase

Georgian Mahogany Revolving Bookcase

This revolving bookcase from 1st Dibs is absolutely gorgeous, I’d love to have one but I’m not even going to guess at the price because it’s an antique and just to find out the price you have to sign up for an account and log in to the site, which I think is the online way of saying “No Time Wasters”.

Still that doesn’t mean I can’t admire it from afar…

England, Circa 1800

This rare George III-period revolving bookcase beautifully exhibits the artistry and ingenuity of Georgian furniture makers. Crafted of luxurious Cuban mahogany in a refined Neoclassical style, this three-tiered case features trompe l’oeil dividers made to look like leather-bound volumes andboasts cast-bronze pulls. The frieze drawers in the drum table base are inlaid with ebony, a rarity during this time of ebonized veneer, and all of the frieze drawers are faux, save for one. Clearly the work of a master craftsman, the case’s turned column tripod base ends in legs fitted with the original brass casters.

The late Georgian era is considered by many to be the zenith of English cabinet-making, and this bookcase is certainly a triumph of early 18th century-inventiveness. A patent was taken out in July, 1808 by Benjamin Crosby for “a machine or stand for books, which may be either circular, square, or any other convenient shape, and which may be turned or moved at pleasure; with cases to receive books.” This elegant yet flexible bookstand demonstrates the demand for furniture to be light and small enough to be easily moved about. The design for these bookcases was prompted by the desire to leave walls free for paintings. A revolving bookcase such as this could be placed in corners or recesses where a traditional case would otherwise be inconvenient to dispose the same number of books.

This type of circular bookstand is illustrated on pl.13 in Rudolph Ackermann’s Repository for Arts for March, 1810 as an “ingenious contrivance.”
Page 83 of Regency Furniture 1795-1830 , 1965, by Margaret Jourdain pictures similar revolving bookstands.
An identical revolving bookstand is illustrated in Frances Collard’s Regency Furniture, 1985, p. 16.

via wanelo.