Relevant categories: Bookcases,Desks,Cabinets and Chests
(Above photo - Georgian Library Bookcase - Antique Mahogany Cabinet )
Are you looking for a Georgian bookcase to use in your home? You don’t need a Georgian house to buy one of the most iconic pieces of furniture from that era. Even in a modern house, an antique Georgian piece of furniture will make a huge difference. In this article, you will learn about the things to look for in any Georgian piece of furniture.
1. Materials (Wood)
(Above photo - Georgian Bureau Bookcase in Mahogany Desk )
When trying to identify a Georgian bookcase, the first thing to consider is the material or wood used to make it. During the reign of George V, the most common materials were mahogany and oak. English furniture makers were bringing in these exotic woods from South America (albeit at a high price). Characteristically, mahogany is a dark, reddish-brown hardwood that darkens over time. When polished, it gives a distinct reddish sheen that stands out.
On the other hand, oak exists in white and red varieties. It is also a hardwood and features distinctively appealing grain marks, making it very attractive to the eye. Red oak (or black oak) brings out a pinkish cast, making it more popular than white oak, which has a greenish cast. So, you can easily tell a genuine Georgian bookcase from the imitation.
2. The Design Used
(Above photo - Antique Georgian bureau bookcase in mahogany )
A Georgian bookcase is likely to have similar features to those of the earlier Regency period because King George V was the one reigning in England (first as Regent and later as King). It usually appears as a small cabinet bookcase with an open front or brass-grille doors. In most cases, the small bookcases had a height of fewer than three feet high (without doors, it would be known as an open bookcase). Another popular design at that time was the revolving bookcase, which was tiny and capable of standing beside a chair. If you are a bookworm, this is the go-to piece of furniture.
3. Legs and Feet
(Above photo - Georgian interiors with a lush bookcase )
Give that it transcended various styles, Georgian furniture borrowed heavily from Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Regency styles. For that reason, Georgian bookcases will have bracket feet to support their heaviness. Thus, the feet could easily carry the heavy bookcase together with its contents (which were most likely to be booked).
Georgian bookcases featured some elaborate decorations like those seen earlier during the Queen Anne period. For example, they have motifs in the form of shells, honeysuckles, animal heads (the lion and eagle), scrolls, oriental designs, and masks. The hardware consisted of brass drawer handles that were sometimes gilded.
(Above photo - Georgian Mahogany Bookcase Side Cabinet Mahogany )
One of the distinctive features of Georgian bookcases is the use of gesso work to create very elaborate decorations. Craftsmen used a clay-like substance to create elaborate designs on different pieces of furniture. The artist would then apply to gild the decoration to give an attractive golden look.
So, do you want a Georgian bookcase? Paying attention to the type of wood, design, legs & feet, decorations, and embellishments is a must. Not only would you find a genuine Georgian bookcase, but you will also become an expert in these types of antiques.
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