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Empire Secretary

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19th Century Scandinavian Birch Empire Bureau Secretary with Bookcase, c. 1820
Located in Miami, FL
A very fine Scandinavian Empire/Biedermeier secretary in beautiful birch wood with mahogany interior, Denmark, circa 1820. The highly sculptural form makes this piece an outstanding ...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century Swedish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Birch

Danish Late Empire Secretary Bureau
Located in Nordhavn, DK
Late empire secretary bureau in mahogany veneered oak with beautiful grain. In 2 parts. Desk top offers three bowed doors. A concave door in the middle flanked by pair of convex do...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century European Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany, Oak

  • Danish Late Empire Secretary Bureau
  • Danish Late Empire Secretary Bureau
  • Danish Late Empire Secretary Bureau
  • Danish Late Empire Secretary Bureau
H 84.65 in. W 47.64 in. D 23.23 in.
Unique Empire Secretary, circa 1820, Northern Europe
Located in Chorzów, PL
A unique Empire secretary, circa 1820, Northern Europe Very good condition, after professional renovation. Wood: mahogany Dimensions: Height 205 cm, width 110 cm, depth 48 cm.
Category

Antique 1820s Swedish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

18th Century Empire Secretary Veneered with Mahogany
Located in Opole, PL
We present you an antique piece of furniture covered with mahogany veneer with beautiful grain. It is topped with a green marble board. The whole is dated the turn of the 18th and th...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Marble

  • 18th Century Empire Secretary Veneered with Mahogany
  • 18th Century Empire Secretary Veneered with Mahogany
  • 18th Century Empire Secretary Veneered with Mahogany
  • 18th Century Empire Secretary Veneered with Mahogany
H 55.52 in. W 39.38 in. D 17.52 in.
Antique Mahogany Empire Secretary with Extraordinary Inlay, circa 1810-1820
Located in Round Top, TX
Extraordinary antique Empire secretary desk circa 1810-1820 from Denmark or N. Germany. The cabinet is made in three sections and covered in mahogany veneer with lighter inlays. Behi...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century Danish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

19th Century French Empire Secretary from Countess of Schulenburg-Wolfsburg
Located in Berlin, DE
French Empire secretary 1815 from Countess of Schulenburg-Wolfsburg. High-quality Cuba mahogany on solid oak. Fire gilded, finely chiselled fittings. Central lock with a special key...
Category

Antique 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Oak

Unique Austrian Empire Secretary/Writing Desk, Material Mahogany, Wien 1820-1829
Located in Prague 1, CZ
Shipping to any US port only for $290 USD Empire secretary or writing desk, (Cylinder) Material: Mahogany. Completely restored, Shellac polish. Period: 1820-1829 Source: Austria, W...
Category

Antique 1820s Austrian Empire Secretaires

Materials

Wood, Lacquer, Mahogany

North German/Danish Ash Wood Empire Secretary with Inlay Silhouettes, circa 1810
Located in Miami, FL
From the Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany, once part of Denmark, a handsome Empire secretary in ash with tiered bureau bookcase with bowed doors. Interior writing desk is...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century Danish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Birch, Oak, Ash, Kingwood

Antique Danish Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
Located in Round Top, TX
The wonderful proportions and symmetry are enhanced by the glowing mahogany in this magnificent Empire secretary made by a master craftsman in Copenhagen. The upper and middle sectio...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century Danish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Wood

  • Antique Danish Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • Antique Danish Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • Antique Danish Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • Antique Danish Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
H 91 in. W 49.5 in. D 23.25 in.
Classicist/Empire Clapperboard Secretary, circa 1790
Located in Berlin, DE
Classicist/Empire clapperboard secretary, circa 1790 Solid wood veneered with walnut. High-quality top on short tapered square legs, straight two-tier body, sloping writing flap a...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century German Empire Secretaires

Materials

Walnut, Wood

Antique Secretary Desk, Empire Style, circa 1820
Located in Chorzów, PL
The unique, birch secretary was created circa 1820 in Scandinavia. Empire style furniture has numerous drawers and storage compartments, the hinged flap opens as a desk top. The secr...
Category

Antique 1820s Swedish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Birch

  • Antique Secretary Desk, Empire Style, circa 1820
  • Antique Secretary Desk, Empire Style, circa 1820
  • Antique Secretary Desk, Empire Style, circa 1820
  • Antique Secretary Desk, Empire Style, circa 1820
H 74.81 in. W 40.56 in. D 19.3 in.
19th Century Lion Secretary Empire Berlin
Located in Berlin, DE
Cuba mahogany on solid oak and softwood partly ebonized. High-rise, architecturally designed corpus. In the front three drawers of different sizes. Straight writing board, behind it ...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century German Empire Secretaires

Materials

Bronze

  • 19th Century Lion Secretary Empire Berlin
  • 19th Century Lion Secretary Empire Berlin
  • 19th Century Lion Secretary Empire Berlin
  • 19th Century Lion Secretary Empire Berlin
H 77.17 in. W 41.74 in. D 21.66 in.
French Empire Colonial Mahogany Secretary in Oval Shape
Located in Vulpellac, Girona
French Empire colonial mahogany secretary in oval shape. The secretary comprises lots of store room: 13 small drawers, including two secret ones and a sliding desk with two also sli...
Category

Antique 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Extremely Decorative Secretary Empire Style with Dummies Books
Located in Berlin, DE
Noble veneer on solid softwood. Rectangular body on chiseled bronze claw feet. Architecturally structured front with dummy and brass framed brass frames. Slightly conical pilasters o...
Category

20th Century Empire Secretaires

Materials

Wood

Empire Style Secretary with Brass and Marble Top
Located in Berlin, DE
Mahogany veneer on solid conifers. High-right corpus on chased bronze claw feet. Architecturally articulated front with library dummy and brass rim sockets. On both sides slightly co...
Category

20th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

  • Empire Style Secretary with Brass and Marble Top
  • Empire Style Secretary with Brass and Marble Top
  • Empire Style Secretary with Brass and Marble Top
  • Empire Style Secretary with Brass and Marble Top
H 64.97 in. W 27.56 in. D 15.75 in.
Italian Empire Neoclassical Walnut and Parcel-Gilt Secretary
Located in New York, NY
Italian Empire neoclassical walnut and parcel-gilt secretary Handsome masculine Empire campaign desk on stand with pivoting dressing mirror below balustraded cornice with ball finial...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century Italian Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mirror, Giltwood, Walnut

French Empire Mahogany Drop Front Secretary "Secrétaire à Abattant"
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A 19th century French Empire drop front secretary with black as a marble top and side columns with bronze mounts, three drawers below and one drawer above. Double brass locking syste...
Category

Antique 1870s French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Antique American Empire Flame Mahogany Quervelle School Secretary, circa 1840
By Anthony Quervelle
Located in Big Flats, NY
An antique American Empire secretary in the manner of Anthony Quervelle offers flame mahogany construction with upper bookcase having double glass doors and three drawers surmounting...
Category

Antique Mid-19th Century American American Empire Secretaires

Materials

Metal

Antique North German/Danish Empire Cylinder-Top Secretary with Bookcase, c. 1815
Located in Miami, FL
From the Hamburg/Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany, once part of Denmark, a very handsome Empire secretary with bookcase in ash with inlays and marquetry silhouettes of neoclassic...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century German Empire Secretaires

Materials

Ash

French Empire Flame Mahogany Drop Front Secretaire Abattant Secretary Desk
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Antique French Empire Period two Part Flame Mahogany Drop Front Abattant. Item features beautiful tapered capitol, brass hardware, mother of pearl keyhole covers, inlaid interior wit...
Category

Antique 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Brass

American Empire Style Crotch Mahogany Secretary and Bookcase, Late 18th Century
Located in Savannah, GA
American Empire Style Crotch Mahogany Secretary and Bookcase, Late 18th Century. Five shelves on top part and two bottom drawers.
Category

Antique Late 18th Century American Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Early 19th Century French Empire Flame Mahogany Drop Front Secretary Desk
Located in Arles, FR
Classic antique French Empire drop front "abattant" secretary desk made with magnificent high quality flame mahogany adorned with bronze doré mounts and its original gray marble top....
Category

Antique Early 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Bronze

Antique Secretary Desk, Northern Europe, circa 1860
Located in Chorzów, PL
Antique secretary from the mid-19th century. The furniture is currently under renovation. Dimensions: height 223 cm / width 106 cm / depth 59 cm.
Category

Antique 1860s Swedish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

  • Antique Secretary Desk, Northern Europe, circa 1860
  • Antique Secretary Desk, Northern Europe, circa 1860
  • Antique Secretary Desk, Northern Europe, circa 1860
  • Antique Secretary Desk, Northern Europe, circa 1860
H 87.8 in. W 41.74 in. D 23.23 in.
18th Century Russian Brass-Trimmed Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in New York, NY
Eighteenth century Russian mahogany secretary bookcase featuring brass accents, including a tiered brass gallery pediment, drawer pulls, and overall trim. In addition to its eight ex...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century Russian Empire Secretaires

Materials

Brass

American Mahogany and Stenciled Secretary with Bookcase. NY Circa 1825
Located in Charleston, SC
American mahogany stenciled and painted foliage secretary bookcase with fitted inlaid birds eye maple interior, shelving, fall front desk, lower cabinet doors, and terminating on scr...
Category

Antique 19th Century American American Empire Secretaires

19th C. Secretary Secrétaire a Abattant Desk Retour D'egypt Prince Murat LA CA
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Very Rare Early 19th century secretary "Secre´taire a' Abattant" desk "Retour D'Egypt" Provenance, Succession: Prince Murat Documents It Still Holds the Ink Stamp from the Sale fr...
Category

Antique 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Wood

Empire Secretary
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Walnut Empire Secretary with Marble Top
Category

Antique 19th Century French Secretaires

Materials

Marble, Bronze

  • Empire Secretary
  • Empire Secretary
  • Empire Secretary
  • Empire Secretary
H 55 in. W 37 in. D 15 in.
Early 19th Century Mahogany Empire Secretary
Located in Berlin, DE
This Empire secretary was made in Germany, circa 1810. It is mahogany veneer on oak. The inside its veneered in birch. The architectural design is typical for this period. A very f...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century German Empire Secretaires

Materials

Birch, Mahogany

  • Early 19th Century Mahogany Empire Secretary
  • Early 19th Century Mahogany Empire Secretary
  • Early 19th Century Mahogany Empire Secretary
  • Early 19th Century Mahogany Empire Secretary
H 62.6 in. W 37.8 in. D 19.69 in.
19th Century Napoleon III Empire Secretary
Located in Berlin, DE
High-quality Cuba mahogany on solid conifers. Architecturally arranged front. High-rectangular body on pawprints in green. Above the writing table with drawer and below with two wide...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Marble, Bronze

  • 19th Century Napoleon III Empire Secretary
  • 19th Century Napoleon III Empire Secretary
  • 19th Century Napoleon III Empire Secretary
  • 19th Century Napoleon III Empire Secretary
H 57.49 in. W 37.8 in. D 19.3 in.
Empire Secretary, Germany, Early 19th Century
Located in Wrocław, Poland
This is a beautiful Secretary from the Biedermeier era from Germany. The piece comes from around 1795-1815. It is in very good original condition after a subtle renovation with a hig...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century German Empire Secretaires

Materials

Birch, Ebony, Maple, Mahogany, Oak, Poplar

  • Empire Secretary, Germany, Early 19th Century
  • Empire Secretary, Germany, Early 19th Century
  • Empire Secretary, Germany, Early 19th Century
  • Empire Secretary, Germany, Early 19th Century
H 68.9 in. W 42.92 in. D 20.08 in.
Empire-style secretary.
Located in Hudson, NY
Empire-style secretary. Black Lacquer.
Category

20th Century Czech Secretaires

Materials

Lacquer, Pearwood

  • Empire-style secretary.
  • Empire-style secretary.
  • Empire-style secretary.
  • Empire-style secretary.
H 68 in. W 38.25 in. D 18 in.
Antique Empire Style Mahogany Secretary
Located in Dallas, TX
Antique Empire style mahogany secretary is the perfect companion for any room, especially a guest bedroom where it affords two spacious drawers outside, four smaller drawers inside, ...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Brass

  • Antique Empire Style Mahogany Secretary
  • Antique Empire Style Mahogany Secretary
  • Antique Empire Style Mahogany Secretary
  • Antique Empire Style Mahogany Secretary
H 36.5 in. W 32.5 in. D 15 in.
Swedish Empire Cylinder-Top Secretary in Birch
Located in Miami, FL
A very handsome Swedish Empire secretary in birch with cylinder top opening to a desk featuring eleven small drawers inlaid with mahogany and birch and two letter drawers with arched...
Category

Antique 1810s Swedish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Birch

19th Century French Empire Mahogany Secretary
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia
French Empire secretary having a fall-front desk opening to fitted drawers and with leather writing surface, and with a bank of three drawers below and a single drawer above. The dra...
Category

Antique 1820s French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Empire style Crotch Mahogany Secretary
Located in Long Island City, NY
very nice secretary/cabinet with fold down desk, drawers and storage shelving below w/intricate bronze fittings and embossed leather writing surface
Category

Antique 19th Century American Secretaires

Materials

Bronze

  • Empire style Crotch Mahogany Secretary
  • Empire style Crotch Mahogany Secretary
  • Empire style Crotch Mahogany Secretary
  • Empire style Crotch Mahogany Secretary
H 55.25 in. W 37.5 in. D 16.5 in.
Antique Flame Mahogany Empire Drop-Front Secretary, circa 1840
Located in Big Flats, NY
Antique flame mahogany Empire secretary features bookmatched facing with drop front writing surface with interior pigeon holes and storage compartments over two long drawers, upper h...
Category

Antique Mid-19th Century American American Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Secretary in Mahogany with Inlaid Fruitwood, Empire, 1810s
Located in Lejre, DK
Secretary in mahogany with inlaid fruitwood, in the style of Empire from the 1810s. The secretary has recently been refurbished.   
Category

Antique 1810s Danish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany, Fruitwood

19th Century Empire Mahogany Bureau Secretary with Bookcase
Located in Miami, FL
A very fine empire secretary in West Indies mahogany, also known as Cuban mahogany, considered to be among the finest mahoganies because of its beautiful grain and color, Denmark, ci...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century Danish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Early 19th Century Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
Located in Paris, FR
Large mahogany and mahogany veneer secretary desk with gilt bronze decoration. Two columns set in the front of the case are capped with rings. A gilt bronze mask crowned with vine-le...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Bronze

  • Early 19th Century Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • Early 19th Century Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • Early 19th Century Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • Early 19th Century Empire Mahogany Secretary Desk
H 101.97 in. W 45.67 in. D 20.48 in.
Unique Austrian Empire Cylinder Secretary/Writing Desk, Material Cherry, Wien
Located in Prague 1, CZ
Shipping to any US port only for $290 USD Empire Secretary/Writing desk - (Cylinder) Material: cheerywood. Completely restored, Shellac polish. Period: 1810-1819 Source: Austria, W...
Category

Antique 1810s Austrian Empire Secretaires

Materials

Cherry, Lacquer, Wood

Dutch 19th Century Second Empire Linen Press/Secretary
Located in Baton Rouge, LA
This elegant 19th century linen press/secretary is from the Netherlands, circa 1860s and offers plenty of storage. It is a Dutch interpretation of the French Empire style having a bo...
Category

Antique Mid-19th Century Dutch Empire Linen Presses

Materials

Mahogany

Antique American Empire Carved Flame Mahogany and Bronze Secretary Bookcase
Located in Big Flats, NY
Antique American Empire secretary features flame mahogany construction with three long drawers in lower cabinet seated on highly detailed carved acanthus paw feet, leather flip top w...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century American American Empire Secretaires

Materials

Bronze

Antique American Empire Flame Mahogany Dropfront Secretary Desk, circa 1840
By Anthony Quervelle
Located in Big Flats, NY
An antique American Empire secretary offers deeply striated flame mahogany construction with upper bookcase having double glass doors with arch form filigree and two drawers surmount...
Category

Antique Mid-19th Century American Empire Secretaires

Materials

Metal

Early 19th Century Mahogany Secretary Desk Empire Period
Located in Paris, FR
Mahogany secretary desk with sculpted and gilt bronze accents and Saint Anne marble top. The facade houses four drawers, one on the top and three on the bottom, and a door that opens...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Bronze

Fine Empire Style Fall-Front Secretary in Walnut with Marquetry
Located in Miami, FL
A 20th century secretary by Bussandri, Italian cabinetry shop since 1911. Inspired by the French Empire style, this handsome secretary has a beautiful design and is very finely const...
Category

1990s Italian Empire Secretaires

Materials

Walnut

Historic Secretary of the Empire, 1820, Northern Europe, after Renovation
Located in Chorzów, PL
An antique secretary from the beginning of the 19th century. Furniture in very good condition, after professional renovation, finished in a high gloss polishing. Dimensions: Heigh...
Category

Antique 1820s Swedish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Empire Period Mahogany Napoleon Secretary Attributed to Pierre-Benoit Marcion
Located in CH
Beautiful mahogany desk and mahogany veneer, dating from the early 19th century, Empire period attributed to Pierre-Benoit Marcion (1769-1840), Napoleon cabinetmaker, opening a drawe...
Category

Antique 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Vintage Empire Style Secretary with Brass Detailing
Located in New York, NY
A vintage Empire style secretary with brass lion head pulls and brass female busts and claw feet. The piece also has an inlay motif of mythological beasts and stylized acanthus scrol...
Category

20th Century American Secretaires

Materials

Cherry

French 19th Century Empire Walnut Secretary
Located in Baton Rouge, LA
An extraordinarily handsome French Empire walnut secretary made in the middle of the 19th century in France. This exquisite piece boasts six drawers and five doors that provide ample...
Category

Antique 19th Century French Secretaires

  • French 19th Century Empire Walnut Secretary
  • French 19th Century Empire Walnut Secretary
  • French 19th Century Empire Walnut Secretary
  • French 19th Century Empire Walnut Secretary
H 77.5 in. W 59.88 in. D 17.75 in.
Early 19th Century, Empire Solid Walnut Secretary from Germany
Located in Darmstadt, DE
Very rare small oblique flap secretary made of solid walnut from the time of the Empire. Two drawers in closed condition. Inside there are 7 drawers and an open compartment as well a...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century German Empire Secretaires

Materials

Pine, Walnut

Empire or Biedermeier Chest with Secretary in Birch with Ebonized Details
Located in Miami, FL
A very handsome Biedermeier or Empire Chest in Birch with decorative inlays of ash on the top and fascia of middle drawer, ebonized columns and carved lions' paw feet. Hinged top dra...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century Swedish Empire Commodes and Chests of Drawers

Materials

Birch

Petite 1860s French Empire Style Walnut and Marble Drop-Front Secretary
Located in Atlanta, GA
A very small French Empire style walnut drop-front secretary with dark grey marble top from the mid-19th century. This petite French Empire style drop-front secretary was born about ...
Category

Antique Mid-19th Century French Empire Night Stands

Materials

Marble

Vintage "Baker" Crotch Mahogany Empire Style Secretary/Bar
Located in Chicago, IL
Absolutely stunning vintage crotch mahogany Empire style secretary or dry bar made by highly respected Baker Furniture Company. This wonderful secretary lends itself to being more fo...
Category

20th Century American Secretaires

Materials

Brass

Swedish Empire Commode - Secretary, Flame Birch ca. 1820
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Small Swedish commode/secretary in birch veneer with great flame pattern. Ebonized legs and moulding.<br /> <br /> Additional pictures are available by request.
Category

Antique 19th Century Swedish Secretaires

Materials

Birch

Period French Empire Fall-Front Secretary with Fire-Gilded Mounts, circa 1810
Located in Miami, FL
This French Empire fall front mahogany Emoire secretaire with original ormolu bronze doré́ mounts was discovered at a private residence of grand scale in Brussels. It had been in the...
Category

Antique 19th Century French Empire Secretaires

Materials

Ormolu

Early 19th Century Danish Empire Fall-Front Secretary in Cuban Mahogany, c. 1825
Located in Miami, FL
A very lovely Christian VIII secretary in fine West Indies mahogany with turned finials flanking pedestal top above top drawer, with drop-front opening to a desk with open storage ar...
Category

Antique 1820s Danish Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany, Satinwood, Walnut

Biedermeier or Empire Small Chest of Drawers and Secretary, Sweden, circa 1820
Located in Miami, FL
Karl Johan chest of drawers and secretaire, Sweden, circa 1820. Offers a rare and lovely writing desk with the first of three drawers opening to a writing desk containing small draw...
Category

Antique 19th Century Swedish Biedermeier Commodes and Chests of Drawers

Materials

Ormolu

19th Century Empire Drop-Front Oak Secretary Desk or Abattant, Chest France
Located in Miami, FL
Secretaire a abattant, France circa 1820, Biedermeier period. The outside with fall front and three drawers flanked by two ebonized columns shows a beautiful oak veneer design. The w...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century French Biedermeier Secretaires

American Classical Secretary Bookcase in Mahogany Attributable to John Meads
Located in Miami, FL
46.5 wide x 24 .75 deep x 96 high (Desk surface height: 31") A very fine American Classical Mahogany Secretary Bookcase attributable to John Meads, Albany, New York, circa early ...
Category

Antique 19th Century American Empire Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Antique American Mahogany Baltimore 'Butler's' Desk/Secretary Chest, circa 1820
By John Needles
Located in Portland, OR
Antique American mahogany Baltimore 'Butler's' desk/secretary chest, circa 1820. The desk made of fine figured mahogany, the top drawer being a fall front secretary with a fitted int...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century American American Empire Dressers

Materials

Mahogany

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Empire Secretary For Sale on 1stDibs

Find many varieties of an authentic empire secretary available at 1stDibs. Frequently made of wood, mahogany and metal, every empire secretary was constructed with great care. There are many kinds of the empire secretary you’re looking for, from those produced as long ago as the 18th Century to those made as recently as the 20th Century. When you’re browsing for the right empire secretary, those designed in Empire styles are of considerable interest. You’ll likely find more than one empire secretary that is appealing in its simplicity, but Baker Furniture Company produced versions that are worth a look.

How Much is a Empire Secretary?

Prices for an empire secretary can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — at 1stDibs, they begin at $2,561 and can go as high as $125,000, while the average can fetch as much as $6,240.

Finding the Right Case Pieces and Storage Cabinets for You

Dressers, credenzas and cabinets have long been home staples, perfect for routine storage or protection of personal items. 

In the mid-19th century, cabinetmakers would mimic styles originating in the Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI eras for their dressers, bookshelves and other structures, and, later, simpler, streamlined wood designs allowed these “case pieces” or “case goods” — any furnishing that is unupholstered and has some semblance of a storage component — to blend into the background of any interior. 

Mid-century modern furniture enthusiasts will cite the tall modular wall units crafted in teak and other sought-after woods of the era by the likes of George Nelson and Finn Juhl. For these highly customizable furnishings, designers of the day delivered an alternative to big, heavy bookcases by considering the use of space — and, in particular, walls — in new and innovative ways. Mid-century modern credenzas, which, long and low, evolved from tables that were built as early as the 14th century in Italy, typically have no legs or very short legs and have grown in popularity as an alluring storage option over time. 

Although the name immediately invokes images of clothing, dressers were initially created in Europe for a much different purpose. This furnishing was initially a flat-surfaced, low-profile side table equipped with a few drawers — a common fixture used to dress and prepare meats in English kitchens throughout the Tudor period. The drawers served as perfect utensil storage. It wasn’t until the design made its way to North America that it became enlarged and equipped with enough space to hold clothing and cosmetics. The very history of storage case pieces is a testament to their versatility and well-earned place in any room. 

In the spirit of positioning your case goods center stage, decluttering can now be design-minded. A contemporary case piece with open shelving and painted wood details can prove functional as a storage unit as easily as it can a room divider. Whether you’re seeking a playful sideboard made of colored glass and metals, an antique Italian hand-carved storage cabinet or a glass-door vitrine to store and show off your collectibles, there are options for you on 1stDibs.