Picture This CXVIII

A London dealer recently attributed this bureau (unusually, veneered in burr elm) as George I, circa 1715 and also stated the brasses are original.

George II elm bureau, circa 1750-5.

The drawer cockbeading places the bureau after 1720 at the absolute earliest; the ovolo moulded lipped edge around the fall first appeared circa 1725; the style of bracket foot was popular from around 1735 and the brasses, if indeed original, are no earlier than 1750.

Interestingly though, the fall moulding and base moulding are cross-grained which is late for this date.

Jack Plane


About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
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4 Responses to Picture This CXVIII

  1. All so true but what if this is made in a country workshop by a elderly maker who is not up to speed with modern fashions but very able in his skills. Does he change, no. He will make it as he knows. I found and did the Research on the William Berry cabinet which has the earliest flat bracket foot (see Adam Bowetts Georgian Furniture) dated 1724 (24). If you look closely at that then this Bureau with the evidence left by the craftsman is closer to 1740.
    But again the problem with antique period furniture is opinion and little due dilligance. It needs dealers, auctioneers and historians to be taught Archology of furniture (eg as we have to do as restorers) not jut comparing images of a facard out of a book.


    • Jack Plane says:

      Eighteenth-century cabinetmaking was a deeply traditional trade where methods and fashions evolved slowly and I often voice the possibility/likelihood of regional furniture being a little behind that of metropolitan areas.

      Still, if, as the dealer states, the handles are original (and they appear so), then this bureau cannot be earlier than 1750.



  2. Ken says:

    So would you date this at about 1750?


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