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Home library, Regency style

homelibraryregencyperiodThis 1816 etching by John Britton represents a typical home library during Regency. The library is located at Cassiobury Park and it was used similarly to many other home libraries of the time — it was essentially the most important room of the house and could be easily referred to as a family sitting room. A group of small dogs in the front sufficiently demonstrates the openness of this library to anyone and anything. At the same time, all traditional library features are present and their style is unmistakable. We see built-in bookcases that are architectural in nature. In other such libraries you would often see (apart from the books, obviously) various antiquities and curiosities. Small private museums of this sort had a long history, but in Georgian times and in the early 19th century the trend became very popular. As far as architectural styles, Regency designers preferred neoclassical decor, howver Gothic influences were also quite common at the discretion of individual owners who were inspired by the love of all things Medieval (as interpreted by novelists and poets). The furniture of this particular home library is typical Regency style (note the Grecian chairs), but the general tone has a certain Gothic air.

I am including some additional samples of Regency library furniture. I especially like the library steps and the breakfront bookcase.

library_furniture

regency_library_steps

antique_chair_32 copy

08a-regency-carved-mahogany-breakfront-library

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