Relevant categories: Bookcases
(Above photo - Victorian open bookcase in mahogany )
By the time Queen Victoria started reigning over England, the bookcase had been in existence for more than two centuries. From the mid-17th century, the bookcase existed in one form or another, featuring in most homes of the civilized members of the society. In the 17th century, the bookcase had a glazed glass front running from the pediment to the plinth. Later versions of the bookcase were called the secretaire bookcase or bureau bookcase. These were meant for use as working desks in the home office. Apart from the writing surface, they had double-heightened bookshelves above the cupboard base or the desk.
(Above photo - Wide double fronted Victorian open bookcase )
The earliest bureau bookcases had either blind-panelled door fronts or a mirror. However, it is hard to find the original bureau bookcases with the same features since people who bought them later opted to remove the mirror or blind-panelled doors and replaced them with clear glass panels. These kinds of bookcases are popular with collectors because of their aesthetic appeal and durable material and construction.
During the Regency period, furniture makers preferred much smaller cabinet bookcases standing at not more than three feet tall. With the miniaturized bookcases, part of the walls remained bare for handing pictures, artwork, etc. What came to be called the “dwarf bookcase” had an open front or beautiful brass-grille doors with pleated silk covering. That was the first time that the word “open bookcase” became part of the lingo of 19th-century furniture makers.
(Above photo - Victorian Open Bookcase Antique Walnut 1850 )
Thus, the Victorian open bookcase is a continuation of a furniture-making tradition that had started during the Regency period. It was in the form of a high cupboard but with a closed behind and an open front. The bookcase stood on a separate plinth and would have several tiers of shelves. The dimensions would vary depending on the size of the room in which the piece of furniture was to be placed. The primary purpose of the Victorian bookcase was to store books and other materials. It is primarily made from mahogany, oak, or other popular hardwoods of the mid-19th century. Today, you can buy and use it in your home office or library to store books. Alternatively, you can turn it into a centrepiece in your living room by using it to hold artwork, framed photos, or potted plants.
(Above photo - Antique Open Front Bookcase Victorian Walnut 1850 )
Apart from the open bookcase, another type of furniture released in the 18th century was the revolving bookcase. It is a small bookcase meant to stand beside a bookworm’s chair. While some of these bookcases were made during the Victorian period, they exist in very small numbers. That’s why the Victorian bookcase is better than most other bookcases when it comes to availability.
(Above photo - Victorian Open Bookcase Antique Walnut 1890 )
Are you looking for a Victorian bookcase to purchase? If “yes,” then you can check out our wide collection of the industry’s best bookcases. In our store, you will find both antique Victorian open bookcases and some replicas made more recently along with the same design and aesthetics.
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