Slant Front Secretary


83"h x 42"w x 16"d

Sapele with Curly Maple, Anegre & Holly Inlays; Sapele Pommele Veneer; Solid Brass Hardware

This reimagined bookcase-on-desk is inspired by the classic furniture form. Both cases, top and bottom, are constructed with hand cut half-blind dovetail joinery. The upper bookcase follows the traditional form with adjustable shelves built into the sides of the cabinet. A delicate profile dresses the front edges of the spaces between the shelf slots.

The lower case contains a few departures from tradition, I made elements to suit my client’s needs. She had no use for the set of large drawers that is typically seen in the lower case. Instead, the bottom compartment is a deep bookcase for oversized book storage.

In the desk area behind the hinged desktop, also known as the lid, is a streamlined workspace for the contemporary user. In historic examples, small drawers and cubbies were used to store and hide important documents. I designed this desk with an expansive space for writing and computer use with a few compartments for the storage of file folders, notebooks, pens & pencils, office supplies, and small electronics.

Historically, because of the important documents stored within these desks, the lids were fitted with a mortise lock, enabling the user to secure its contents. The key in the lock serves the function of a knob facilitating the lowering of the lid, which can be somewhat clumsy. Instead of a lock, I installed a knob – a much more user-friendly experience. For an aesthetic change, instead of using the traditional brasses, I made the escutcheons (ornamental plates) behind the knobs out of holly which are inlaid. 

Copyright Sharon C. Mehrman 2024. All Rights Reserved.