Historically Important Federal Period Inlaid Mahogany Secretary Bookcase by John Shaw of Annapolis, Circa 1795. The bookcase is in three sections, with a 'swans neck' pediment to the top with dentil decoration & rosettes, inlaid with satinwood, below are two doors with astragal glazing & enclosing three adjustable shelves. The base having a single drawer with a locking fall front enclosing a bank of drawers with ivory pulls and an ox-blood tooled & gilded leather writing surface. The base having twin doors with oval inlaid panels enclosing a single sliding shelf, the bookcase standing on bracket feet, the cabinet having the original brasses and brass trim to the doors both top & base.
The bookcase came from a Maryland family, the bookcase has many design elements from other John Shaw pieces, please see the links below for some history & a recent sale at Christie's auction for $441,000. Condition is good, there are a few old repairs to the cornice, the leather writing surface is a sympathetic replacement, condition however is honest & good. A very rare opportunity to acquire a piece of historically important American Federal period case furniture.