What is a Barrister Bookcase?

Woman standing behind a stack of books

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The barrister bookcase is a traditional shelving unit that is distinguished by a clear glass front. Originating in Great Britain, the barrister bookcase has the advantage of being easy to secure to a wall, or several units may be stacked to create the look of an attractive cabinet. The choices of wood, glass, and hardware can give a barrister bookcase a simple or ornate appearance, depending on the preferences of the owner.

One of the attractions of the barrister bookcase is that the construction helps to provide a greater degree of protection than many types of bookshelves. The glass doors help to limit the amount of dust that can settle on the books, which will help to keep the book collection in better overall shape. Along with protecting the books from dust, it is also possible to outfit the doors with tempered glass that helps to minimize the impact of sunlight on the spines of the books, effectively helping to keep the color of the bindings from


While antique barrister bookcases can be quite expensive, there are a number of manufacturers that produce replica editions as well as modernized versions at reasonable prices. Some versions are very simple in appearance, and will fit in well with a number of different decorating themes. It is not unusual for a homeowner to purchase one or more bookcases of this type, trim them with crown molding that is like that used elsewhere in the room, and create a customized storage source for very little cost. Because the bookcase can easily be stacked, it is possible to use the barrister bookcase to create interesting wall units, sofa tables, or even a breakfront for a dining area.

Finding different versions of the barrister bookcase is not difficult. Many antique shops will have elegant models for sale. High-end retailers who cater to office and home furnishing needs will also have several models of the barrister bookcase for sale. In addition, it may be possible to locate the ideal barrister bookcase for sale online or at an estate sale.

Source: www.wisegeek.com

Category: Barrister

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