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First seen in the 18th century, Antique Open Bookcases are one of those useful pieces of furniture that can house a large book collection, without the hassle of having to open doors to gain quick access, as it is open fronted. You can often see good examples from the Regency period, breakfront in Mahogany, but they are more commonly seen from the Victorian and Edwardian eras in Walnut and Oak timbers. Most have adjustable shelves, using brass buttons, or slatted wood sections enabling you to have the shelves at various heights. They can stand on a simple plain plinth, to splayed bracket feet and come with little details like blind fretwork carvings or inlay around the edges. These practical antique bookcases also can have decorative carved corbels to column sides, making each piece unique. They are extremely popular pieces of antique furniture and don’t usually hang around due to their smaller size so are easy to fit into any home and surprisingly have a really good storage capacity. Have a look below at our lovely examples available for sale.
Walnut was a well used timber on Victorian open bookcases, especially when used on Arts and Crafts designs. This example has an unusual mirror and is in the style and quality of the renowned cabinet makers Lambs of Manchester.
Oak was probably the most sought after of the period as it can be of nice lighter shades. Unusual designs were made, especially towards the late 19th and early 20th century like this open fronted bookcase with central plaque depicting a Viking boat.
Some of the best examples were made from ‘Burr’ woods as these were only made for the very wealthy. This could include Burr walnut or Pollard Oak. This example has been constructed from the very rare and extremely attractive pollard oak that has a definite burr walnut look to it.
Some of the most simple in design are actually the most useful as they come with attractive features and can be quite large so will house lots of books. This is a very nice example of a tall open bookcase with hand carved corbels and moulded sides.
Hi! Do you still have the bookcase with the Viking boat plaque? Thanks a lot