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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "A GEORGE I BURR WALNUT BUREAU BOOKCASE"
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The lower part with a pair of candle slides above a fully fitted interior with a central cupboard, pigeon holes and small drawers flanking a recessed sliding well compartment, the base is fitted with two short and two long drawers with engraved brass handles and escutcheons and stands on bun feet.
English circa 1720
Width: 40 ½ “ 103 cm
Depth: 24 ½ “ 62 cm
Height: 103 ¼” 262 cm
Private Collection, Switzerland
Dr. Adam Bowett, English Furniture 1660 - 1714 From Charles II to Queen Anne
Woodbridge: Antique Collector’s Club, 2002 Chapter 7 Case Furniture 1689 – 1714 pp.221-223 fig. 7:53
Lanto Synge, Mallett’s Great English Furniture, London: Bullfinch Press 1991, p.248, fig 287
A bookcase with almost identical exterior, pictured Insitu, sold from the private collection of Patricia Kluge at Albemarle House in Virginia, USA on the 9th June 2010
Fedor Martynov sketch of bookcase design
This walnut bureau cabinet is notable for the use of the finely figured burr walnut veneers, and the elaborately fitted interiors with complete arrangements found both in the upper part and within the fall, which includes document drawers, pigeon holes and folio slides.
The bookcase is made in three parts, which was a method of construction used in the late 17th century and one that continued into the 1730s. While there is little benefit from an aesthetic viewpoint, the documented bureau cabinets made in this way, were usually important pieces and made to the highest quality.
Royal cabinetmakers Giles Grendy (1693-1780) John Gumley (1670-1728) and Peter Miller d.1729 were among the few documented cabinetmakers to have constructed pieces in this manner.
Russian cabinetwork of this period was strongly influenced by Tsar Peter I return to Russia after his studies in London. He subsequently sent twenty four cabinetmakers who were working in Amsterdam to London to train as furniture makers. One of these cabinetmakers named Fedor Martynov made furniture for the Empress Anna Ioannovna. Martynovs drawings that are illustrated above, are allmost identical to the present piece.