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Seymour Secretary Bookcase

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Seymour Secretary Bookcase

Makers Challenge

Timothy S. Killen
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This is my reproduction of a Seymour Secretary Bookcase finished in August 2021. The original piece is in the White House. I received one very good photo of the piece from the White House. With that and the book by Robert D. Mussey Jr. “The Furniture Masterworks of John and Thomas Seymour”, I was able to re-create the design (in SketchUp) with all the details and joinery. I started shop construction in November 2020 with the Tambour section. I chose this part of the Secretary first since I was least familiar with Tambours. There are about 100 individual slats, each one with stringing and veneer, so this was the most challenging work. The Bookcase, however, comes in second as most difficult, with the thin muntins and arches surrounded by curved fluted moldings. The materials are Honduran Mahogany with secondary wood of yellow poplar. I finished the piece with Kusmi Seedlac, rubbed-out with steel wool.

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