Campaign Secretaire Cabinet
Campaign Secretaire Cabinet
A mahogany Georgian Secretaire Cabinet on later stand.
Although larger than most, this cabinet was originally made to be portable, with brass carrying handles to the sides. Either side of 1900, the stand was made to make it more practical for domestic use. The cabinet has two banks of three short drawers, each with three pigeon holes above. To the centre is a bank of two long drawers with a cupboard and a short drawer to either side above. Within the cupboard is another short drawer. The drawers each have a brass axe drop handle and the partitions between the drawers and pigeon holes are faced in ebony. The drawer fronts are mahogany with a fine boxwood inlaid line and tulip wood to the outer edges. The bottom right short drawer has dividers for inkwells etc. whilst several of the other short drawers are also fitted with dividers.
The two pigeon holes to the outer edges have a hidden mahogany slide catch that allow the whole interior section to be removed. Behind this section are three hidden compartments. Two brass slide catches can be seen at the top of the back, once the interior has been removed. When released, the three compartments, made as one mahogany section, will pull forward on their hinges. Each compartment, now lying horizontally, has a slide lid with a thumbnail groove to the front. They are quite big and would hold a variety of items from letters to money. There is also a further well revealed to the base, which is hidden by a simple board. Once the whole interior is removed it can be seen that each pigeon hole has a small hole cut to it. This is to allow the air to escape when the tight-fitting interior is put back. The writing surface has a blind tooled, green leather skiver and is made in two parts, with the front third hinged to extend the area. The edge is faced in brass and the join of the two parts cut on an angle to make it easier to close when folded.
The stand has been very well made and in a mid 18th century style. The legs and apron are carved with fluting and oval patera to the corners. The stand has an ash lined drawer with two bars to the inside face. These twist on screws to stand upright to support the writing surface fall of the cabinet, when open. The bottom edge of the cabinet has had a fine moulding added to match that to the top of the stand. Along with two lugs added to the underside of the cabinet, this moulding helps to hold it in place to the stand and to unite the two in look.
This Georgian cabinet is well made with good, open dovetails to the top edges and a panelled back. The air release holes to the pigeon holes show attention to detail. Despite being approximately a hundred years later in date, the stand has also been very well made and allows the cabinet to be used as a stand alone piece of furniture rather than sitting on a desk. However, the side mouldings and lugs could be removed easily enough to take it back to its original form. This cabinet on stand makes a useful sized desk. Circa 1800.
Full Size is given.
Cabinet without stand H 13 3/4 W 31 D 13 6/8 inches
Stand a later addition. Split to the back of secret drawers board with a notch out of the top.