What's it called? Need to know the name of a particular feature in furniture..

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Forum topic by thiel posted 08-07-2009 08:13 PM 1098 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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387 posts in 3316 days

08-07-2009 08:13 PM


I’m looking to know the name of the center door in a traditional secretary type of piece from the early american period. E.g. In a bombe secretary there’s usually a door, centered on the writing surface, behind which resides the “safe” area. I need to know what that piece/door/area is called. There’s a specific word for it!



-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

5 replies so far

View Ryan Shervill's profile

Ryan Shervill

278 posts in 3837 days

#1 posted 08-07-2009 08:29 PM

The only thing that comes to mind when recounting the various secretary resto’s I have done is “Pigeonhole”.

Apart from that I’m lost…..


-- Want to see me completely transform a house? Look here:

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3643 days

#2 posted 08-07-2009 08:36 PM

Ryan, There is a name for that feature, and, I’ll no doubt obsess about it until I remember it!

-- Don, Pittsburgh

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Don Newton

716 posts in 3643 days

#3 posted 08-07-2009 08:54 PM

I got it…...document door!

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View thiel's profile


387 posts in 3316 days

#4 posted 08-09-2009 05:26 AM

Got it. It’s called a “prospect” :-)

there happens to be a museum of early American furniture near my house… They had it identified in an exhibit.

-- Laziness minus Apathy equals Efficiency

View Raymond McInnis's profile

Raymond McInnis

36 posts in 3272 days

#5 posted 08-09-2009 04:50 PM

david click on the link above and scroll down to the brief entry “pigeon hole”. this is a quick and dirty job.

i’m a retired academic reference librarian who is also an avid amateur woodworker, and creator of .

seeing your question got some of my old juices going, so—using the few tools i have at home—aronson’s “encyclopedia of furniture” and vic taylor’s “woodworker’s dictionary—i looked the term up and decided to make a small dictionary entry.

when you view the entry for pigeon hole, you’ll see an image from aronson and a definition that i adapted from both taylor and aronson.

i confess though that i am suspicious that this is the end of the story. i’ll keep looking

-- Raymond McInnis Washington State

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