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Bay Colony Antiques

Antique Biedermeier Mahogany & Satinwood Secretary Abattant Desk With Marble Top

Antique Biedermeier Mahogany & Satinwood Secretary Abattant Desk With Marble Top

Regular price $2,875.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $2,875.00 USD
Sale Sold out

With our absolute highest compliments Bay Colony Antiques takes the utmost pleasure in offering this remarkable antique secretary abattant desk. This fall front desk, or secrétaire à abattant, as it is catalogued for the European market, is a timeless and iconic design which first originated in France towards the end of the 18th century and then ultimately spread throughout Europe gaining favor among upper middle-class patrons of fine furniture. The Biedermeier movement, which contrasted the decadence and opulence of the aristocratic classes, became the prevailing style among the bourgeois class during the second and third quarters of the 19th century. In central Europe, particularly the newly formed German Confederation and the lands belonging to the Prussian and Austrian Empires, the Biedermeier art movement had its strongest following of both patrons and artists which led to some of the finest furniture and decorative art items ever produced in European history. We have had the great fortune through several decades of continued operations to have handled German and Austrian produced Biedermeier art and objects of historical significance and museum quality and with that experience have come to recognize distinguishing features of central European Biedermeier period furniture. This strong familiarity allows us to properly catalogue German and Austrian made pieces when the only identifying clues are the materials and construction techniques used in the execution of any given piece. Based on the hardware, selection of premium woods, and techniques employed by the artisan who crafted this desk, we can state confidently that this desk was built for a wealthy patron in the region of Germany or Austria in the middle of the 19th century.

This secretary desk is primarily constructed with mahogany and features crotched mahogany book-matched veneers upon the fall front desk surface and on each of the arched lower cabinet doors. The exterior of the case is adorned with stylized bulbous floral elements and an intricately carved cabochon cartouche on the lower center just above the molded and shaped base of the cabinet. Secured with reliable inset hinges the drop down writing surface tilts downward to reveal a complete and sophisticated interior. The finest grade of satinwood was utilized to fashion the full interior designed with two upper implement drawers housed above five lower utility drawers and a full storage shelf. The center of the interior has a fully shaped face frame with intricately molded rosewood accents and a masterfully carved central shell motif and also features a mirrored panel in the back of the cabinet. The marble surface is supported underneath by dovetailed stretchers and has remained in excellent condition with rounded corners and a molded profile along the full length of the edge. The cabinet has remained in exceptional condition with only a few minor wood losses along the bottom edge and a small molding detail absent from the interior. The fall front interior likely had felt lining the writing surface at one time however we decided to leave the surface alone for the benefit of the next owner to decide how best compliment the surface. Overall the secretary desk measures 38" wide x 18 1/4" deep x 52" tall up to the marble surface. The surface writing area measured 31" wide x 19 1/2" deep and the surface of the writing area stands 28 1/2" tall off the ground. The interior solid satinwood shelf has 11" in usable depth.


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