The Great Use of A Secretary
by Liza Laserow
1. Late Gustavian secretary in mahognay decorated with brass details. Available at Laserow Antiques.
2. A Swedish late Gustavian mahogany chest with original grey lime stone top (a crack), brass hardware and unusual interior. Top drawer folds out to a desk top. Available at Laserow Antiques 1st Dibs.
3. A beautiful black lacquered secretary with gilt paint decorative paintings. Made in 2 parts. Has a highly decorated interior. Standing on Rococo shaped legs. Laserow Antiques 1st Dibs.
A secretary is a combination of a writing desk and a chest of drawers. It has a vertical or slant desk top standing on a base of drawers. The first examples were developed in Italy during the 16th and 17th Century and arrived to England sometime during the 17th Century. It was from there the influence came to the Scandinavian countries. The word secretary comes from the Latin word: Secretus and refers to the array of drawers and compartments hidden behind the lockable front flap. A new version of the secretary was introduced end of 1700 and early 1800’s – the Chiffonje which is french and means storage for fabric samples – Chiffons.