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George II English Mahogany Bureau Cabinet Bookcase



An impressive English bureau cabinet / bookcase / secretary, with secret compartments. In mahogany and parcel gilt. In the manner of Giles Grendey (1693-1780). Mid-18th century, George II period. Displays fine, deep, rich color and surface patination. The top section with a broken-arch pediment and dentil cornice. The frieze well carved with Gothic arcaded blind fretwork. Centered by a later urn-shaped finial. The cabinet with two carved parcel-gilt gesso bordered ogee shaped doors. Old but later mirror plates enclosing a fitted interior with eight drawers and adjustable shelves. The cleated fall, with its original lock, now fitted with a wine red, gilt-tooled writing surface revealing an exceptionally high quality arrangement of canopied drawers and pigeon holes. The interior is centered by an arched, architectural over door, which pulls out as a secret drawer. The floor within the central door also slides forward revealing a secret recess. Below is an arrangement of three long and three short cock-beaded drawers. The outer short drawers, unusually fitted with sliding writing surfaces with matching wine red gilt-tooled leather, serve as supports to the hinged fall. All set with the original swan-neck brass mounts and key escutcheons. All in high quality mahogany and oak lined throughout. It is raised on ogee bracket feet (apparently original). The 'Cabinet-Maker and Chair-Maker' Giles Grendey was described in 1740 as 'A great Dealer in the Cabinet Way'. He carried out a considerable export trade from Aylesbury House in St. John's Square, London. He was appointed Upper Warden of the Joiner's Company in 1747 and its Master in 1766. His son-in-law, John Cobb, was granted a court appointment as cabinet-maker to George III. Records of Grendey's export business have never been doubted. A fire that badly damaged his workshop in 1731 also destroyed furniture to the value of £1,000, that he 'had pack'd for Exportation against the next Morning'. It is a tantalizing possibility that the destroyed export furniture was intended for Spain and that the existing Lazcano suite is in fact its replacement. These sophisticated and Classic architectural bureau cabinet/ bookcases are reminiscent of some of William Kent's earlier designs (1685-1748). See a drawing of a chimney piece surround in the Victoria & Albert Museum showing similarities in the treatment of a pediment. Gallery location: Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case A, shelf 156, Museum no 208. Sothebys offered an almost identical bureau cabinet in the Devenish Collection sale, 24th April 2008, lot 26 est. USD $20,000-30,000. Vis S. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London, 1730-1840, (2008) vol. II, p. 61, pl. 607. Percy Macquoid - 'History of English Furniture, vol. III, The Age of Mahogany', pl. 7. Nb. An antique bureau cabinet is often referred to as a ''secretary'' in the U.S.


  • Similar to
    Giles Grendey (Cabinetmaker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 100 in. (254 cm)Width: 48 in. (121.92 cm)Depth: 24 in. (60.96 cm)
  • Style
    Georgian (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1750
  • Condition
    Replacements made: Old but later mirror plates showing light signs of ageing. Importantly, not 'cold' plates, with a little loss of silvering giving the correct period look. Overall in superb condition throughout. Wear consistent with age and use. Very minor historical restoration entirely commensurate with age. In superb condition throughout.
  • Seller Location
    Lymington, GB
  • Reference Number
    Seller: BHA9281stDibs: LU4081122026502

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity.
    Estimated Customs Duties & Taxes to the Continental US: $0.
    Ships From: Lymington, United Kingdom
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 14 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Lymington, United Kingdom
Vetted Seller
These experienced sellers undergo a comprehensive evaluation by our team of in-house experts.
Established in 1957
1stDibs seller since 2018
15 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 11 hours
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