Relevant categories: Bookcases
A breakfront bookcase is a cabinet whose central section projects further than the other two sides. The style first sprang up in the 18th century during the Georgian era. Breakfront bookcases were mainly made from mahogany. Famous designers such as Chippendale are thought to have been behind this style.
Old cabinets were usually massive in size. They were generally found in the homes of civilized individuals. In most cases, the bookcases were mostly glazed between the plinth and pediment. The glass panes used for that purpose were square.
(Above photo - Regency Breakfront Bookcase Burr Walnut Sheraton Book Case )
Other standard features included swan neck pediments over the glazed front door. To reiterate, the breakfront refers to the middle part that appears to slightly step forward from the rest of the cabinet. Large antique bookcases would never miss this element in their design.
Some cabinets had their pediments in the form of broken arcs with an urn at the center. The breakfront had four doors. In other cases, the bottom featured a series of paneled doors. The upper part was also likely to be fitted with pigeon holes and shelves. Instead of shelves, some even featured cupboards below.
(Above photo - Breakfront Bookcase in Satinwood - Regency Sheraton Painted Bookcases )
However, breakfront bookcases were not always massive. There are some from the Victorian era, which was as high as a sideboard. The doors were glazed, just like for their large-scale counterparts. Those made using the Empire Style were majorly mahogany pieces. At the bottom, the cupboard doors were carved. For example, there is one with four glazed doors just above this bottom.
During the mid-19th century, the Regency style has taken root across the world. The cabinets designed during that time are as elegant as you would expect. It was not uncommon to find breakfront bookcases with dentil cornices over the glazed doors. They also featured a sliding writing surface and a cupboard with four doors.
(Above photo - Regency Sheraton Breakfront Bookcase Mahogany Inlay )
In the 20th century, there as a slight transformation in the breakfront bookcase. Above the four cupboard doors was space for storing files and stationary. The cabinet also featured adjustable shelves. Another form appearing in the 20th century was a bookcase made primarily from walnut. It featured astragal glazed doors and stood slightly higher than a sideboard
In a nutshell, breakfront bookcases were made using different styles depending on the designer and the period in question. Some were full-scale cabinets, while others were sideboards with the breakfront remaining common. Other features include adjustable shelves, glazed doors, and cupboard doors. They were highly functional pieces of furniture that also served ornamental purposes.
(Above photo - Antique Breakfront Bookcase Oak Circa 1840 )
If you are looking for a breakfront bookcase, you will have to define beforehand precisely what you want. Luckily, we have all kinds of cabinets in our store, you would be spoiled for choice. Right from the 18th century when the bookcases came to fore to the present, you will undoubtedly find something that suits you. Our prices are competitive. Above all of that, we provide the best customer service you can find anywhere. If you are a collector, you will definitely be coming back for more.
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