Pair of Modern Gothic Bookcases
American c. 1870-1880
In the late 19th Century, Nahant, Massachusetts was a seaside retreat for Boston’s elite, who summered in lavish coastal cottages designed inside and out by the city’s leading architects. At the time, Boston was a national epicenter of the Reformed Gothic style, an artistic movement born in England and distinguished for its nature-inspired ornamentation and simple, honest construction. English architect-designer Bruce J. Talbert was among the style’s greatest proponents, and his landmark design treatise, Gothic Forms Applied to Furniture, Metal Work, and Decoration for Domestic Purposes, was wildly successful when first published stateside in Boston, in 1873. The Boston-based architects of Nahant were undoubtedly aware of – and designing after Talbert’s Reformed Gothic ideologies, and this pair of bookcases from a Nahant estate is a rare and exceptional vestige of this work.