A Swedish Empire Birch Secretaire Chest of Drawers c.1840

Origin: Swedish
Period: Empire
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1840
Height: 49.5”
Width: 47”
Depth: 22” (all at extremities)

The exquisitely crafted Swedish Empire birch and birds eye maple wood secretaire chest of substantial proportions and heavy build quality, having a moulded cornice above a shallow drawer with secretaire drawer beneath, the fall opening to reveal an extensive ebonised fitted interior comprising of twenty fitted drawers and one central lockable cupboard, the carcass with three further drawers to the base each with ebonised lozenge escutcheons, the lower being bombe shaped, flanked by ebonised pillars and raised on block feet and surviving from the second quarter of nineteenth century Sweden.

In very desirable original condition, there are no major flaws to report, the fall is level and flat for use and all of the drawers lock with the two keys provided.

In 1810 the French officer Jean Babtiste Bernadotte came to southern Sweden accompanied by one of Napoleons marshals Monsieur Bernadotte , the man who was going to become King Karl XIV Johan and it was at this time the French Empire style came to Sweden.

Napoleons architects, Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine developed the style in France during the late 1790s as they adapted Neoclassicism and gave it a bolder look. Inspired by the roman empires it featured strong lines and architectural attributes such as eagles, shields, helmets and spears which all became important symbols of the period.

The height of this period was between 1804-1814 when Napoleon I was the emperor which also gave the period its name; Empire. During 1830 the style got softer and late Empire and in southern part of Sweden it got, essentially, blonder, which is when this piece was made.

An extremely well-made piece using the highest quality materials.