Modern Gothic Secretary/Dresser

by John Werry on December 10, 2007

This Modern Gothic dresser/secretary has a central drawer that pulls out and the front panel drops to expose a desk surface. The design elements of this piece are primarily Eastlake due to the shallow incisings, grooved panels, and rectilinear design. The finials and “dormers” on the piece bring a modern gothic accent to the piece. The seller suggests that this is done in the manner of Daniel Pabst, and I can see their point.

This cabinet reminds me of another cabinet I ran across that is signed by Herts Brothers (not Herter Brothers). They are another New York cabinet maker probably most remembered by their bedroom display at the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876. I don’t believe the two pieces are necessarily made by the same maker, but the Eastlake elements employed are the same (tiles, incisings, grooved boards) except for the added bling of the strap hinges on the Herts piece a la Kimbel and Cabus. Seeing the one triggered the memory of the other.

The Herts cabinet is being sold by Architectural Antiques Exchange out of Philadelphia. The dresser/secretary is to be sold on December 13th by Go Antiques Live.

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