Picture This XXXV

Lopers are employed in bachelor’s chests etc. to support their fold-out leaves and in bureaux to support their falls. I covered the installation of lopers in A George II ash bureau – Part VII.

As I mentioned during the construction of the ash bureau, a vertical divider (and, on occasions, a guide, too) is required between loper and drawer to ensure both operate unimpeded (figs. 1 & 2).

Fig. 1. Loper and vertical divider (with guide behind).

Geo_II_mahogany_bureau_c1750_01bFig. 2. Typical eighteenth-century loper, vertical divider and drawer arrangement. (Richard Gardner)

I recently came across this unusual – but rather nifty – approach to the issue (figs. 3 & 4).

Geo_II_mahogany_bureau_c1755_01aFig. 3. No inter-lopers here! Mahogany bureau, circa 1755.

Geo_II_mahogany_bureau_c1755_01eFig. 4. Vertical divider hidden behind extended drawer front.

The brasses are rather splendid too.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Antiques, Case Furniture, Drawers, Picture This and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Picture This XXXV

  1. confur says:

    Wonder how often they had to repair/replace the cock beading……..


  2. Tico Vogt says:

    There is also a shallow mortice and stub tenon centered along the lower edge of the fall. Are they rare?


  3. Graham says:

    Very cool, I’ve always liked the look of the separated lopers but this is an interesting way to create a more unified/minimalist look amongst the drawers by eliminating a conspicuous structural element. Thanks for sharing.


  4. john Wolf says:

    Is there some sort of full height guide for the loper behind the drawer front in place of the divider, or is the shorter guide in the first piece pictured enough to keep the loper stable?


  5. Vincent Nobel says:

    Jack, very intesting to see the guide without the vertical divider. It looks wrong somehow, but i’d be interested to know if it works as well as the normal arrangement.

    I was equally bemused when I saw the bookcase/bureau in Dr Johnson’s House in London the other day. I forgot the take a picture of it, but you can find it here halfway down the page:

    As you can see the guides are not next to the top row of drawers, but one row lower. This makes no sense to me. Can you shine your light on this?

    Thank you


    • Jack Plane says:

      I don’t expect the lopers in the bureau above would perform any differently than more conventional examples.

      It’s quite clear to me that the two sextodecimo books in the bottom of the Elizabeth Carter bureau bookcase are placed atop the lopers before the fall is opened.

      I have no idea. Perhaps the lopers have flip-up elements that make up the height difference to enable them to support the fall.

      If anyone living or working near the Dr. Johnson House and can throw some light on the conundrum, your input would be most welcome.



  6. Vincent Nobel says:

    I live in London, so I’ll try to go back and ask them to open it up. Will take me a few weeks before I have time, so wathc this space.


  7. Pingback: Picture This XLV | Pegs and 'Tails

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