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Antique Federal Bird's Eye Maple & Cherry Jelly Cabinet With Rare Butler's Desk

Antique Federal Bird's Eye Maple & Cherry Jelly Cabinet With Rare Butler's Desk

Regular price $4,875.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $4,875.00 USD
Sale Sold out
With our absolute highest compliments Bay Colony Antiques takes the utmost pleasure in presenting this exceptional and rare antique jelly cabinet. This example is one of the rarest forms of either a jelly cupboard or a butler's desk that we have been privileged enough to find. Typically a traditional jelly cabinet will have a single empty drawer situated over a pair of cupboard doors for the purpose of preserved food storage. This cabinet features a full butler's drawer section inside the single upper drawer which has a drop-down face accessed by depressing the button locks inset on both sides of the drawer interior. The drop-down face allows the owner to get full use of this cabinet as a writing desk complete with a full interior designed for writing implements and storage of stationary papers. The traditional American butler's desk is styled with a single writing desk unit housed above three additional long drawers free of interior compartments and generally reserved for the storage of clothing or linens. Early American jelly cupboards and Early American antique butler's desks are in our experience two separate classes of furniture forms, both increasingly rare and desirable in their own rights, so to find a single antique cabinet which possesses both attributes is all but unheard of. Needless to say we were thrilled when we procured this cabinet from the previous owner as this example is one of the finest and rarest of both a jelly cupboard and a butler's desk and undoubtedly will be fated to belong to a fine collection of historical furniture and American antiques.

This exceptional antique jelly cupboard was likely constructed in Pennsylvania at the turn of the 19th century sometime around the years 1790 - 1810. The entire case is built with old growth native cherry wood and features brilliant bird's eye maple on the drawer front, door panels, and interior writing section. The writing surface is controlled on semi-circular brass inset tracks which allow the front to be hinged downward and back up again with two brass tombstone formed inset locks having depressing button actions which secure the drawer face upward. The interior opens to reveal nine individual drawers and four document storage compartments along with a fitted brass lock. The front of the cupboard is fitted with four antique glass knobs that feature ornamental metal work and are typical of fine chests of drawers and antique butler's desks known to be from Pennsylvania. The doors are flanked by well formed half columns which featured opposing rope twist designs as well as fine upper turnings and carved capital elements. The case of the cabinet is constructed with frame and panel sides which ingeniously allow the side panel to float inside a framework thereby allowing for seasonal wood expansion and contraction. This aspect keeps the cabinet case in good condition throughout generations and limits the chances of age-related splits or other structural problems. Superior design and construction is a hallmark of Pennsylvania furniture and has led to a strong market forming over generations for these charming regional examples. The backside of the cabinet and inside of the lower interior reveal well oxidized secondary woods which have aged wonderfully. The cabinet is raised on four compact turned feet which are quite strong and reliable. The chest measures 43 1/2" wide x 22 1/2" deep x 41 1/2" tall.


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