Book press or bookcase, 1755-1785
Photo courtesy of Constance...
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Photo courtesy of Constance V. Hershey

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Photo courtesy of Constance...
Photo courtesy of Constance...
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The bookcase has two pairs of solid panel doors, a flat upper surface and bracket feet. It has a mahogany body, pine backboards and an interior shelf (which is not original). The flat top has a projecting edge with blunt nosing and applied strips of cove moulding beneath it. The pairs of doors divide the structure in half; they have flat stile-and-rail construction, and plain recessed panels. There is a cove-moulded base and plain bracket feet. Within, there is a single shelf that runs the full width, with indentations about 2 inches wide cut out at locations along the front edge that correspond to the opening edges of the doors. There are later locks, and rococo escutcheon plates that do not correspond to earlier keyhole locations (now patched). Examination of the side walls reveals nail hole evidence of three or possibly four shelves. On the backboard are two sets of chalk notations, one of which might possibly be 18th century: a Roman capital letter D, and the words "In the Hold" scrawled across in a free hand. A second inscription that appears to be of different origin is the name "C[?] Bradford, West Chester / Pa."

There is a mate to this case, owned privately, on which is written the single word "Deck." It does not appear to be in the same hand as that on this object, but both should definitely be examined further.

Connection to Franklin
Undocumented Terms of Use Credits