Fine quality American magazine rack (also known as a canterbury) exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876. Unusual to find an American example, as most are of English manufacture and quite ubiquitous. Of Charles Eastlake design, the open fretwork to the top and sides; the fine figured walnut to the body and drawer front with highly carved handle; the fine quality wood grain and patina throughout, make this an exceptional example of Americana. The emblem and logo to the mid front panel further enhance the desirability of this magazine rack and gives provenance to the “International Exhibition, Memorial Hall 1876”. This event was also referred to as the Philadelphia World’s Fair of 1876. The typewriter and telephone were new inventions introduced at this important exposition, which was host to 35 countries opening May 10 and running to November 10, 1876 in celebration of our nation’s 100th anniversary.
A canterbury such as this example would have been used for sheet music, papers, and documents, as well as for magazines and newspapers, in homes of the wealthy and was a definite symbol of upper society.
Dimensions: 35 1/2″ high x 19 1/2″ wide x 14 1/4″ deep
Provenance: Same family owned the piece from it’s original manufacture in 1876. Passed down in the family to California where I acquired it in a 1978 estate sale. It has been in my personal collection for 40 years.