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Ebonized Campaign Bookcase

Reference
6495
Height
56 1/4" (143 cm)
Width
27 1/4" (69.5 cm)
Depth
11" (28 cm)
This ebonized Open Bookcase can certainly be considered unusual. Firstly, the form of an open bookcase standing on relatively tall turned legs is not often seen, secondly the piece is ebonized and thirdly it has very bold, well detailed lion mask handles to the side. The top section of the bookcase has removable shelves and is pine with the legs and base board mahogany. The legs unscrew on steel bolts and the fact that they and the base board would get more wear is no doubt why they are in a hard wood. The ebonizing of the timber is rare on a piece of English campaign furniture and the lion mask handles are also uncommon.

Presumably, with the legs unscrewed, this bookcase would have been packed into some sort of case for travel. However, as the lion mask handles do not protrude further than the bottom thumb moulded edge of the bookcase, they would not have made packing more awkward. The uncommon form and the attention to decoration with the painting and handles suggests that this was probably a commissioned piece, made by a cabinet maker as a one off item. Certainly the original owner was concerned with having a bookcase practical for travel that was also fashionable to the decoration of the day. Early 19th century.
Dimensions assembled are given.
Height
56 1/4" (143 cm)
Width
27 1/4" (69.5 cm)
Depth
11" (28 cm)
Period
Early 19th century.
Medium
Ebonised Softwood
Origin
England
Exhibitions
Essential Baggage