Call us

Rare and Fine Padauk Wood Bureau in the Chippendale Manner c. 1780

Exceptional and beautiful
36 inches wide, 41 inches high, 22 inches deep

(dimensions measured at feet are 37.5 inches wide and 23 max deep)

For metric please multiply by 2.5
Full Description
In superb original condition, with a fantastic colour, and retaining the original fine quality brass hardware. This is a very high quality solid Padauk bureau and an extremely rare piece of British Colonial and Canton period furniture dating from around 1780.

This is an incredible piece of artistry and skill, very pure in the making, and it remains in excellent and largely original condition.

What strikes you is not only the extraordinary quality of the cabinet work and hardware but that it contains an usually high number of secret drawers and hidden compartments.

In addition to the interior concealed drawers flanking the architectural door with teak parquetry, the whole central section pulls out and there is a concealed compartment behind this and drawers in the aprons above the pigeon holes. But this bureau also has four shallow sliding drawers set into the reverse of two of the dust boards between the main long drawers and a false base board above the bottom boards/below the lowest principal drawer.

There is a lining of blue paper on the shallow dust board hidden drawers.

I think all of the main drawers once had similar false bottoms raised just a half inch above the base boards of each. These sadly appear very recently lost as the bottom boards are in pristine and clean condition and there is a slim band of the blue paper stuck along the back of each drawer lining – which may have acted as a sort of hinge.

Despite its small size the bureau is the heaviest I have ever encountered and far heavier than if made of any other hardwood.

The lock to the fall has been broken out and changed at some point early in its life - which given the timber and hardware must have taken quite some effort!

The plinth is beautifully carved with a Chinese scroll.

Even the drawer linings are solid Padauk with a beautiful colour and swirling grain.

It would have been made bespoke for someone who needed these secret places and the false bottom board certainly would have allowed a lot of bank notes or important documents to be successfully hidden.

A Padauk bureau bookcase at Christies sold for £16,800 and on line you will find 18th Century Anglo Indian Padauk pieces selling for upwards of £30,000.