Library bookcase Maker: Unknown


Mahogany; doors; drawer fronts, mahogany veneer with light- and dark- wood inlays; drawer linings, red cedar (Juniperus spp.), probably southern red cedar (J. Silicola); drawer runners in center cupboard of lower case, bald cypress (Taxodium distuchum); framing of pediment, eastern white pine; drawer fronts and valances in secretary drawer, holly (Ilex opaca); some repairs in lower case, hard maple


126 5/16 × 99 5/8 × 26 in. (320.9 × 253 × 66 cm)
other (Upper case): 94 1/2 × 13 15/16 in. (240 × 35.4 cm)
other (Lower case): 98 15/16 × 25 5/16 in. (251.3 × 64.3 cm)

Credit Line

Mabel Brady Garvan Collection

Accession Number



18th–19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



This library bookcase and a sideboard (1930.2308) were purchased in 1928 by Francis P. Garvan, New York, from Elizabeth D. Allston, Marion, SC, who provided the following family history: "These two pieces.were owned by Wm. Alston.and probably bought by him for his plantation house on Clifton, his beautiful estate on the Waccamaw river, So. Carolina.The furniture has remained in the possessions of his descendants [including herself] up to the present time." Gift in 1930 to Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

  • J. Thomas Savage, "The Holmes-Edwards Library Bookcase and the Origins of the German School in Pre-Revolutionary Charleston," American Furniture (1997): 123, fig. 29.
  • Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 92, ill.
  • Gerald W. R. Ward, American Case Furniture in the Mabel Brady Garvan and Other Collections at Yale University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1988), 4, 327, 363–66, 430, no. 188, ill.
  • Anthony Livesey, ed., A Treasury of World Antiques (New York: Crescent Books, 1979), 149.
  • Helena Hayward, ed., World Furniture: An Illustrated History (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1965), 195, fig. 727.
  • E. Milby Burton, Charleston Furniture, 1700–1825 (Charleston, S.C.: Charleston Museum, 1955), fig. 2.
  • E. Milby Burton, "The Furniture of Charleston," Antiques 1 (January 1952): 45, fig. 3b.
  • Wallace Nutting, Furniture Treasury, 1st ed., 3 vols. (Framingham, Mass.: Old American Company Publishers, 1928–33), n.p., no. 797, ill.

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