Newcastle on Tyne

Went flea marketing today. Been eyeing this barristers bookcase for about a year. It was marked 1/2 off today so I bought it. As I was loading it into my car I saw this on the back,

Now that I have had a moment to look it up, I guess it is fitting that I filled it with my Agatha Christie and Hitchcock collections.

Just had to share. :blush:


That’s one well-travelled piece of furniture. Looks good, too…

Newcastle on Tyne is a great place. The people are very friendly and down to earth. Unfortunately, the whole area is suffering from economic depression at the moment, so there’s also a lot of hardship.

The people of Newcastle call themselves “Geordies”. They have a very distinctive accent - one that I love to hear.

I found a little video of a native Geordie girl giving an accent tutorial:


It is in excellent condition. I am having trouble finding out if it was actually made by Robson and Sons or if it is just a piece sold through the gallery. I see that Robson was bought out in the 50’s which is when I believe this piece is from. It is very well made and the glass can be removed for transport.


Without a maker’s mark, it’s hard to say who actually made it. However, If it was in Britain in the 1950s, it’s almost certain it was British made. Wartime and post-war taxes on imports were punitive, right up to late sixties.

Nowadays, a piece like that would probably be made in Eastern Europe, and re-badged by the supplier. That wouldn’t have happened in the fifties. The country was all but bankrupt after the war, and desperate to stop hard currency going abroad. We went to extraordinary lengths to discourage imports.


Being British made explains the side-sliding glass doors. American made barrister bookcases have a glass, wood-trimmed door that lifts and pushes back into the top of the shelf. (and they are called lawyer’s bookcases, lol) I had never seen one with the side-sliding doors and that is what attracted me to it. The glass is very thick and beveled. That is why I say it is likely the 50’s and it has the simple arts and crafts styling of the 50’s.
I love it no matter who made it. :grinning:


I don’t want to start another thread for this so I will put it here:
Received the rest of my Myst 25th Anniversary goodies
Wanted to place my hand on the page and hear the familiar ‘woom woom woom’ and find myself on Myst Isle, lol.


You got yourself a very nice bookcase there. Looking at the colour, I would say it’s mahogany, although possibly oak or teak. Most certainly made somewhere in the 1950s. It is a type of bookcase usually made for lawyers and alike, often called Barrister bookcases (as you mentioned, Lawyer’s bookcase). This is due to the fact these cabinets were made to stack, so easy to transport in sections. During the 50s/60s they became more popular for regular use.

I do however doubt this bookcase was made by Robson and Sons, considering the modern style, as well as lack of trade mark they would have left. This is not to say this bookcase could not have originated from a furniture store/upholstery in Ponteland. The name Robson is very common of course and still present, even in this trade.

After some research, I think it is very likely you have a ‘Simplex’ bookcase, although I could be wrong. They were founded in 1935 and as far as I know, still active.

I found a very similar bookcase shown below, although there appear to be some minor differences.


There are however similar furniture retailers, like Minty ltd, Library specialists, Oxford.

Nice find none the less, and the marking on the back is certainly intriguing. You could of course ask the previous owner, to possibly find out more :wink:

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Thank you for the research! I believe this is an oak piece, quarter sawn on the top to create what is called a tiger oak pattern. My dad worked in the lumber industry all his life (except for a short stint as a milkman in California, lol) so I learned a thing or two about wood from him. 0309190825_HDR
Wish I had that whole set in the advert!
My bookcase is slightly smaller approx 86cm wide 138cm tall and 25cm deep…I wonder what that one sold for…?

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:+1: Cool. I got a really good deal as I paid less than half of that! :grinning: