Virginia Bookpress or Gun Cabinet

An incredibly rare form of a gun cabinet or bookcase. Where does one start with this piece…? Overall, this piece is in original condition and untouched. It is made out of walnut and has poplar and yellow pine secondary. The knobs and toggles are all original. Meanwhile both locks are replaced.The piece separates into two parts with the base with the drawers as a separate unit than the bookcase top. It features two glazed doors with what appears to be 12 panes of glass.  However, some of the mullions are half mullions. This means it looks like 12 panes of glass but in truth it is only 6. All of the glass is period and probably original. The glazing was falling out so we reglazed all the doors. The cornice and feet are original as is the finish! 

When this piece is first seen, one sees it as a bookcase. Yet, upon closer examination the right size is revealed have a “hidden” door that opens the same length as the main bookcase. Usually a compartment like this does not have shelves but is just open inside. It is the correct size one could actually store muskets in it. In these cases, the drawers would have held black powder in one and ammunition in the other. Thus, it would be a “gun” cabinet. (The guns would be locked away and hidden from view.) Nevertheless, the right side appears to have always had shelves in this case. The shelves are beaded and are a perfect match to the main shelves. The only difference being that the main shelves are adjustable but the right side the shelves are fixed. So, reason dictates that while the form is a “gun cabinet” this piece was meant to be a book case or book press. Regardless, it is an amazing piece and one of my better “discoveries”. It is a great size at 48” wide, 16” deep, and 81 ½” tall. Virginia. Circa 1850.

Price: $5,950

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