PRESENTING A STUNNING Hepplewhite Style Apprentice Miniature Secretary Chest.
Made in England circa 1900-10 this piece is a miniature of much larger pieces in the same style.
Based upon the style, design and hardware it a reproduction of a Hepplewhite piece from the Regency Era of 1790-1820.
We are of the opinion that this miniature is in fact an ‘Apprentice Piece’. It is too large to be a salesman sample but to small to be full sized. Some people would say that perhaps it is a Child’s Secretary but I would totally disagree with that. Firstly, it is of too high a quality with exceptional flame mahogany veneers etc and secondly, it show zero signs of ever being used by what would be a very privileged child indeed ! My opinion is that this was made by an Apprentice who was working for a British furniture maker at the turn of the 20th Century as a piece to ‘hone’ his trade. He would have had access to the offcuts of wood and veneer from larger pieces being made.
It was not uncommon for employers to allow ‘apprentices’ to use these left over materials to make pieces for themselves which sometimes they would sell to make a little extra cash.
Whoever the employer was … they sure used the best veneers available as the flame mahogany veneer on this is simply GORGEOUS !!!
The piece stands at 58.5 inches tall (including finials) … 4 foot 8.5 inches Tall !!!
We had to photograph this outside to show off the gorgeous patina !
APPRENTICE PIECES, LIKE THIS, ARE HIGHLY COLLECTIBLE AND DESIRABLE !
The piece is one solid piece.
It has a pelmet on top with 3 plinths for finials. The finals on this are replacements but very sympathetic to what would originally have been there. Below the pelmet is a flat top which acts as a shelf.
The top section consists of 3 doors. A central; tabernacle style solid door which opens to reveal cubbie dividers for stationary, etc.
It is flanked by 2 Gothic Arch style doors with glass.
Under the doors are 3 drawers with brass pulls.
The central section is the secretary desk part of the piece with a slanted drop down front to reveal a workspace.
The bottom section consists of 3 graduating drawers with matching flame veneers and Hepplewhite Style hardware. The sides are fluted and reeded pillars.
The desk sits on 4 turned and fluted feet.
Hepplewhite Style Apprentice Miniature Secretary Chest.
Provenance: From a Dallas Estate.
Condition: Overall quite good. Some minor repairs, mainly to front of desk top as is obvious from the photos. Finials are quality replacements.
Dimensions: 58.5 inches tall, 34 inches wide and 18.5 inches deep.