Queen Anne Secretary

This is the most incredible and outstanding secretary we have ever owned!  It has so much going for it that the eye doesn’t even know where to begin.

At first, one notices the beautiful English walnut used throughout the piece and wonderful luster the finish has. There is banding all over the front and sides of the desk along with herring bone inlay. It should be noted that this herring bone work is repeated throughout the exterior and interior. Quickly, the overall size registers too. It is only 80 5/8” tall, 40” wide, and 23” deep. This size is amazing.It has presence and beauty but none of the bulk that can overshadow a room. This does not mean it doesn’t have presence because it does! It just means the proportions are nothing short of perfect in our opinion. It’s at this point that the arched top and sides register. Finding arched cornices are rare but sides too? Wow! This is followed by the amazingly original, beveled, tomb stone shaped mirrors. Yes, they are in amazing condition. Next, I noticed the hardware. It is all etched and original. Look at the craftsmanship! From hinges to drawer pulls, what attention to detail. The only replacement on the entire piece appears to be the little brass knobs. They are old but probably not original. Meanwhile, it does have its original feet. When we saw this piece for the first time, we just stood in awe at this point. We just couldn’t believe it. And, this was just the beginning!

Lowering the fall board revealed an interior that was of the same quality and “mirrored” the exterior. First, the prospect door mirror is beveled and has double pinched up corners (all original). The molded interior formation of 6 cubbies over 8 bow front drawers is amazing. That’s right, small, bowed drawer fronts. What a sight! Looking closely one then sees the veneered and inlaid panel in front of the prospect door. However, this isn’t just for decoration. This panel slides back to allow access to an area the size of an exterior drawer. This “secret” compartment is huge! It should be noted that the key to the fall board works and is the same key to the doors above. It was at this point one may notice the tiny pulls between the desk interior and the doors above.  They pull out and are for meant to hold candle sticks. Think about it, one could place 2 lit candles in front of the mirror doors.  How beautiful, and practical, would that be?

It is at this point, one normally goes, wow, what a great piece. Look at all of this. Let’s open the doors, check out the 2 shelves, and make sure everything is ok in the top. It was upon opening the doors we realized we were looking at a masterpiece. It had a fitted interior! We were stunned!

The interior of the top might be the best part of the desk. Upon opening it, the first thing one notices is the mirror door. It just cannot be missed. Quickly the eye registers lots of drawers. We mean a LOT of drawers. Look closely at them. Once again, the herring bone inlay matches the exterior and interior drawers from the base. It is at this point one notices the tall vertical compartments with moveable slides. Yes, moveable and they are all present. Once again, WOW! Above them are another 8 cubbies and two plain panels with knobs. Could those be flip down doors? YES, they are! Just take a moment and look at this. Every piece of space is utilized for work. Was this a show piece? Absolutely! Was it used for work? With certainty. It was at this near point of exhaustion, that we turned the key to open the door. What would be behind it? Most likely…a shelf or two. Was it? No. It was another fitted interior with cubbies and more matching drawers. 

WOW! What else could one ask for from the early 18th century? 

As for age, dating this piece is a bit easier than normal due to the design and construction. The hardware is very early 18th century but the overall style of the piece is very first period Queen Anne (1720-1760).  Thus, we believe it was made somewhere between 1720-1740. This piece was made by a master cabinetmaker in an urban center. In the end this secretary, or desk with bookcase top, is nothing short of spectacular.

Price: $22,500

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