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The Handel Bookcase: M.1-1902

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


The Handel Bookcase


Production: Unknown




Bookcase in two sections,mahogany with carcase of pine and some oak the lower cupboard enclosed with paneled doors, the upper section with glazed doors between fluted pilasters surmounted by a broken pediment; brass fittings.


History note: First certainly known in the collection of Thomas Greatorex (1758-1831) but (in the Illustrated London News, 1842) said to have belonged to Handel and to have been bequeathed to John Christopher Smith and to have been bought at his death jointly by Samuel Harrison (1760-1812) and Greatorex on the understanding that the survivor should possess it; Greatorex's sale, T. H. Watson, 3 April 1832, lot 252, purchased by John Ireland (1761-1842), Dean of Westminster; bequeathed by him to Mr Brownsmith; Henry Barrett Lennard; passed in 1870 to his son, Francis Barrett Lennard, who gave it to the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Legal notes

Given by Francis Barrett Lennard

Measurements and weight

Depth: 41 cm
Height: 251 cm
Width: 119 cm

Relative size of this object

1.2 m2.5 m41 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1902-03-11) by Lennard, Francis Barrett


Mid 18th Century
George II
Circa 1735 CE - Circa 1745 CE


The handles are not original

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Fittings composed of gilt brass
Carcase composed of oak pine

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Veneered : In two sections, of mahogany with carcase of pine and some oak; brass fittings; handles not original

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Bolum
  • Location: On pine base of top section
  • Method of creation: Inscription in red crayon

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1-1902
Primary reference Number: 96002
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 18 July 2022 Last processed: Monday 25 July 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "The Handel Bookcase" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-02-02 03:32:21

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{{cite web|url= |title=The Handel Bookcase |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-02-02 03:32:21|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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