Secretary Bookcase

H - 84"
D - 21 3/4"
W - 41 1/2"

This Secretary Bookcase was made in the 1940's, during WW II and is a superb example of the art of cabinetmaking and finishing. Solid Walnut is used in its construction, each board, hand-selected by experts for the same texture and grain as in the Original. Hand-craftsmanship is apparent in every detail...for instance, the door frames are tenoned, then pegged for even greater strength ... the beveled and shaped door panels are cut by hand (Sketch A). Front rails are hand-dovetailed into the case ends of the lower section. These dovetails can be seen by examining the rails between the drawers; the case ends are dovetailed into the top and bottom of the lower section; the division rail between the small drawers of the lower section is dovetailed into the front rails; the ends of the top section are dovetailed into the top and bottom of the case; the drop lid panel is mortised and pegged into the side rails of the drop lid. The tennons run completely through the drop lid rails (Sketch C).

And it is interesting to note the various woods used in the drawer interiors... the small drawers are made with oak sides and pine bottom... the large drawers of pine and poplar... and the two secret drawers at the top of the pigeon-hole are of walnut (Sketch B). An expert cabinet maker requires 4 hours to hand-dovetail a single drawer.

The dental moulding at the top is hand-cut ... incidentally the top section is removable, fitting into a moulding at the top of the base. The bookcase top contains extra thick, beveled edge shelves, which slide into numerous grooves, cut in the sides of the cabinet. The hardware is cut and filed from a solid sheet of white brass (even the weight of each pull is the same as in the Original). The exterior is hand-finished in a rich shade of Georgian brown, while the pine interior is in the natural color.

This is a rare piece by Kittinger.

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Kittinger Product Legend

HN = Historic Newport
CW = Colonial Williamsburg
WA = Williamsburg Adaptation
OD = Old Dominion
RH = Richmond Hill

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