Storage has been the bane of our existence. Where does this go, where does that go? Throw it in the closet, throw it in the armoire, throw it in the cupboard , throw it in the linenpress. Its tough to part with stuff, so we keep it, throw it somewhere never to find it again. Unless…we get organized, and have a system. Perhaps the linenpress is your answer. This linenpress is a 2-piece storage unit with an overhanging, molded cornice. The upper section has a cupboard with 2 paneled doors concealing 3-5 shelves, possibly with sliding trays or drawers. The lower section is slightly wider than the upper section, with 3-5 full length, usually graduated drawers. This has a molded base with plain skirt and simple bracket feet. Others could have claw-and-ball feet. Paneled, dovetailed, and pegged construction. Lots of space to get organized and store stuff. The woods used are local and could be mahogany, cherry, walnut, or birch. Secondary wood is pine or poplar. The hinges are brass. The pulls are brass mounts or rosettes with bail handles. Escutcheons are matching brass or brass keyhole surrounds. Height: 72-84″ Width: 40-47″, Depth: 17-21″. Made circa 1770-1800 in New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Most show some restoration, particularly inside the cupboard. For example, in the 19th century, when there were no closets, they were often fitted with hooks to serve as wardrobes. If you hunt for a linenpress as a collectable, make sure that you have a true linen press and not just a cupboard mounted on a chest of drawers.
Cabinets of all types have been designed since the beginning of time to store what we aren’t using at the moment. We are still struggling with the issue. Here’s some sweet history about the linenpress. It acquired the name back in the 17th century as it was used to press linens. It consisted of a flat bed upon which damp linen was placed for flattening through pressure applied with a large wooden screw. The linen was then stored in the cabinet. The actual press looked like the piece here with the apparatus, the screw, visible. It is Dutch, made in the 17th century in walnut and is typical William and Mary style with its turned legs and stretchers attached to the legs and straight frieze at the top.
The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the co-regency over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, of King William III & II and Queen Mary II. Their joint reign began in February 1689, when they were offered the throne by the Parliament of England, replacing James II & VII, Mary’s father and William’s uncle/father-in-law, who was “deemed to have fled” the country in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. After Mary died in 1694, William ruled alone until his death in 1702.