Waterfall Bookcase


The Regency period in England begins around 1800 and runs through about 1830. (In the United States, that same time frame spans the later part of the Federal period throughout most of the Empire period.) The name Regency is tied to the monarchy in England. King George III became ill and in 1811 was declared unfit to rule the kingdom – he suffered from bouts of madness. His son, through the Regency Act, was appointed to rule in his stead – the son could not become King until his father passed, which happened in 1820. It was at that time that the son became King George IV.

The Regency lasted nine years, so why would we consider the Regency period to be from 1800 through 1830? It appears as though George IV, before he was appointed King, was quite the fashion statement in England. What he did, where he went and how he acted were closely watched and regarded. He influenced styles and trends beginning around 1800. By 1830, the once hallowed monarch had allowed himself to become portly, peevish and passe.

Furniture during the Regency period had plain lines with less shaped or curved surfaces. The use of brass became prominent. These attributes are similar to what is found in Federal furniture, but there is a marked difference – Regency furniture began to move away from inlay and marquetry, which is often found on Federal pieces.

This bookcase has a small footprint (36” wide x 38-1/8”), and is only 12-1/2” deep at its base. I also like the simple stringing, which turned out to be a bit more of a challenge than I expected, and the small gallery at the top. It’s the perfect, portable bookcase that fits almost anywhere.

Curves Can Cause Conundrums

Right off the top, if you’d like to make this bookcase easier to build, eliminate the small curves at the step-outs, or eliminate the corner inlay. It’s not the curves in the bookcase that caused additional work, it’s the inlay that fits around those curves that’s the problem. If you’re intention is to be curvy, here’s how I did the work.

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2 thoughts on “Waterfall Bookcase

  1. Glen,

    Great job. I am in mist of making one from our conversation years ago. I making mine a little taller and wider, but not that much. Great article. Sucked me for another year.


    1. Freddy,

      I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this piece since I first laid eyes on it. I like the idea of building it a bit larger. More room between the shelves would be nice. We should compare notes.

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