Bookcases have been around for a very long time, earlier times then you may think as some religious paintings have shown cupboards with shelves inside and manuscripts on them. Open shelves have been used for Centuries, so the idea of shelving for books is not new.
Very popular in Victorian times, they remain as much in demand now as ever. Antique bookcases always seem to have a presence about them compared to many new ones, and this is possibly because earlier ones were always made of wood, which over time gains patina. The style of antique bookcases also often hints to a more classical style, with the use of columns or classical appliques or carvings.
Columns are one of the most usual forms of decoration you will see on a bookcase, the parts that 'frame' the bookcase. There are three classical Greek names for columns, Ionic, Doric and Corinthian and these terms are called 'the order of ancient Greek and later Roman architecture', ie the official basis for design at these time.
Doric columns are recognised by the simple circular capitals a the top and bottom. The Ionic column is recognisable by the 'volutes' or spiral scrolls at the top. The Corinthian top of a column will be very ornate and the column itself is usually more slender then the others.
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