Bureau Bookcase

1808-1810 (made), 1808 (painted)
Bureau Bookcase thumbnail 1
Bureau Bookcase thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 120, The Wolfson Galleries
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
A bureau bookcase combined two functions, storage for books and a writing desk. Shelves for books are fitted inside the upper and lower cupboards of this example. Below the upper doors, there is a false drawer, which drops down, supported on brass quadrants, to form a writing surface. The interior is fitted with small drawers and pigeonholes.

People
George Oakley was a very fashionable cabinetmaker with a shop at 8 Old Bond Street, London. The bureau bookcase is very similar in design to other pieces of furniture that were made by his firm, Oakley & Evans. In 1801, the London correspondent of Journal der Luxus und der Moden, a German magazine, wrote that 'all people with taste buy their furniture at Oakeleys [sic], the most tasteful of the London cabinetmakers'.

Materials & Making
By 1810, when this bureau bookcase was made, combinations of different styles and contrasting materials had become fashionable. The mounts are Egyptian figures while the glazing bars in the doors are Gothic. The exterior is covered with zebrawood, a dark and patterned wood from Brazil, while the interior is veneered in satinwood, which is light in colour and came from Ceylon.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 14 parts.

  • Bureau Bookcase
  • Bookcase (Upper Section)
  • Shelf
  • Shelf
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Keys
Materials and Techniques
Mahogany, veneered with zebrawood and other woods, with gilt-bronze mounts
Brief Description
Lower section. zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.



2, old,. from bureau bookcase, zebrawood and satinwood, with gilt bronze mounts; probably made by George Oakley, with watercolours of the River Clyde by James Baynes, English 1808-1810.
Dimensions
  • Height: 158.5cm
  • Width: 78cm
  • Depth: 51cm
Gallery Label
British Galleries: This bureau bookcase illustrates the mixing of styles that was common in Regency objects. The overall form is Classical but the glazing bars of the doors are pointed in the Gothic fashion, while the corners of the cabinet carry mounts in the form of Egyptian figures.(27/03/2003)
Object history
Probably designed and made in London by George Oakley (died in 1841) of Oakley & Evans, Old Bond Street, London; watercolours of the River Clyde signed by James Baynes (born in 1766, died in 1837)
Production
Watercolours of the River Clyde signed by James Baynes (born in 1766, died in 1837)
Summary
Object Type
A bureau bookcase combined two functions, storage for books and a writing desk. Shelves for books are fitted inside the upper and lower cupboards of this example. Below the upper doors, there is a false drawer, which drops down, supported on brass quadrants, to form a writing surface. The interior is fitted with small drawers and pigeonholes.

People
George Oakley was a very fashionable cabinetmaker with a shop at 8 Old Bond Street, London. The bureau bookcase is very similar in design to other pieces of furniture that were made by his firm, Oakley & Evans. In 1801, the London correspondent of Journal der Luxus und der Moden, a German magazine, wrote that 'all people with taste buy their furniture at Oakeleys [sic], the most tasteful of the London cabinetmakers'.

Materials & Making
By 1810, when this bureau bookcase was made, combinations of different styles and contrasting materials had become fashionable. The mounts are Egyptian figures while the glazing bars in the doors are Gothic. The exterior is covered with zebrawood, a dark and patterned wood from Brazil, while the interior is veneered in satinwood, which is light in colour and came from Ceylon.
Collection
Accession Number
W.15:1 to 14-1930

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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