This monumental Gothic dressing bureau form is derived from a basic form designed by Thomas Sheraton, and is illustrated in The Cabinetmakers’ and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book. An early closely related derivative is illustrated in Furniture and Maryland 1740-1940, Gregory Weidman . What these forms have in common is the primary configuration of a bureau with mirror flanked by stylized cabinets, which are sometimes referred to as wig cabinets. Our dressing bureau has two Gothic arched cabinets with highly figured mahogany and large beading for accent all above convex drawers. The arched cabinets support the central mirror with central carved pediment with scrolls and acanthus leafage. The base of this bureau has a kneehole configuration with flanking sets of drawers which, stylistically, are in concert with the arched cabinets above. The drawers display an unusual Roccoco molding and retain their original wooden pulls. This bureau also retains its original marble, all of which rest upon a traditional scrolled foot design with incised scroll embellishment reminiscent of the violin scroll form. Also of note, regarding construction is the use of solid mahogany sides, which denotes an earlier construction technique, which later gave way to the paneled inset.
This casepiece is in superb museum condition and radiates with its vibrant mahogany. Needless to say, the home that this piece originally was destined for was of fine detail and good scale. Interestingly, the use of the stand-up dresser form, although very practical and a luxury in any dressing room/bedroom, is not something one sees much of in contemporary life. Nevertheless, the gentleman or woman who used this piece of furniture must surely have found it a convenient luxury.