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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Secretary with side bookshelves


This Secretary, which I believe is referred to as a Slant Front, has been in the family since it was purchased by my great Aunt while living in Philadelphia.  I would appreciate your help in learning more about it  ( age, construction, Repro. of what ?, rarity, and value ).  I have never seen another with attached bookshelves on both sides ---- Have you ?.      The brass plate inside the drawer states :   KAPLAN  reproductions of Early American Furniture    Cambridge, Mass       Thank-you so much

Geoff - Your cabinet is called a bookcase/secretary. The form of the double bookcases was popular in the late 1800s but became less so in the early 20th century to account for smaller living spaces during the Depression era. The double bookcase is most often seen in the form of the breakfront secretary seen here.

Kaplan Furniture Co was major player in the early 20th century. Here is the history.

Your bookcase secretary is a Colonial Revival reproduction of a Federal era cabinet from the early 1800s. It was made in the 1930s to 1940s. It is made of flat cut Honduran mahogany veneer over secondary woods. The drawer pulls are Queen Anne style. The block type molding along the top is called "dentil" molding in an 18th century misspelling of "dental."

Here is a similar secretary with glass in the bookcases.  

Your bookcase secretary would sell at auction in the $250 range.

Thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor  

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor


I will attempt to answer questions about American antique furniture, including construction details, style, period, manufacturers, care, repair and storage. I do not have any background in appliances, musical instruments, sewing machines, trunks, lighting, clocks or children's and baby furniture and will not respond to questions about those items.


I ran an antique furniture restoration business for twenty years. I am a nationally syndicated columnist on the subject of antique furniture for such publications as Antique Week and New England Antiques Journal. I have produced one video on the subject of furniture identification and my book "HOW TO BE A FURNITURE DETECTIVE" is now available.I have also published articles in Antique Trader, Chicago Art Deco Society, Northeast Magazine, Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles, Professional Refinishing, Antiques and Art Around Florida and Antique Shoppe. You can visit my website at

BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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