De Secretaire – Handcrafted Cabinet by Atelier Espenaer
De Secretaire Cabinet - Espenaer

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De Secretaire

Cabinet

– Sold –
Available as model for custom order

– Customization mode –

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Dimensions

150 (h) x 130 (w) x 50 (d) cm

Materials

Salvaged ash, salvaged elm, walnut

Features

  • Exceptional fall front desk design
  • Wood types with remarkable figure and patterns
  • Experimental combination of dovetail and boxjoint
  • Secret compartment for desktop computer
  • Entirely crafted by hand in Amsterdam

De Secretaire is a custom fall front desk, a variation of the more well-known secretary desk or secretaire, and was made as part of our bespoke service. It is not available for purchase, but may serve as a model for a custom piece specially made for you.

De Secretaire is designed to serve as both a cabinet and a desk. Like all secretary desks, it has the special quality of allowing the desk area to be hidden by closing the lid. De Secretaire is a modern take on this concept and does not only serve as a writing desk, but also offers the possibility of accommodating a desktop computer and monitor (not shown in photos). It also includes compartments to hold a printer, scanner, and photocamera. There is also the usual storage for documents and other desk needs.

 

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Anatomy

This cabinet desk consists of a central case that is divided into two halves. The upper half contains the desk area, a main compartment for the desktop computer, and two smaller compartments that may be used to store smaller devices, like a photocamera, and other items. The bottom half contains compartments for a printer, a scanner, binders, and other items.

The panels of the case connect to one another through an experimental combination of the dovetail and the boxjoint. Moreover, the tails and teeth do not follow a regular pattern and shape, as usual, but are irregularly positioned and have varying widths and angles. The compartments are created through the use of both blind and wedged through mortise-and-tenons.

The case is held up by four tall handcurved feet. The feet do not hold the case directly, but are placed at a short distance and connect to the case through Espenaer’s signature triple sticks from the sides and the bottom. The triple sticks connect to the two sides with both blind and through mortise and tenon joinery. At the bottom of the cabinet, beneath the case, rails connect the left feet to the right feet with through mortise and tenon joints.

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Crafting history

De Secretaire was entirely crafted by hand. All the joinery in this cabinet was created fully with traditional hand tools, including dovetail saws and chisels. The milling/dimensioning of stock was for a considerable part done fully by hand tools too, yet part of it also through machining. De Secretaire was finished with two coats of Tung oil and two layers of hardwax-oil.

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