A stunning Arts and Crafts oak bureau bookcase designed by G M Elwood and made by J S Henry with metalwork by Richard Rathbone and an inlaid Motto that reads :- 'The Pen Is Mighter Than The Sword'.
Who Said 'The Pen is Mighter Than The Sword': Edward Bulwer-Lytton When: 1839.
The Story behind It:
In Act II of Bulwer-Lytton's play Richelieu, Cardinal Richelieu learns of a plot against him contrived by a friend and confidant, the monk Joseph. Since as a priest he could not challenge the monk to physical combat, Richelieu issued a written statement which contains the following:
Beneath the rule of men entirely great, The pen is mightier than the sword.
Bulwer-Lytton was not the only one, nor was he the first, to have the thought. The Greek poet Euripides, who died about 406 B.C., said, "The tongue is mightier than the blade." In 1600 Shakespeare had Rosencrantz in Hamlet say that "... many wearing rapiers are afraid of goosequills." In 1621 Robert Burton wrote The Anatomy of Melancholy, in which he stated: "From this it is clear how much more cruel the pen may be than the sword." Also preceding Bulwer-Lytton was Thomas Jefferson, who in 1796 sent a letter to Thomas Paine in which he wrote: "Go on doing with your pen what in other times was done with the sword."
The last image is another bureau bookcase by JS Henry with identical hinges taken from British Furniture by Pauline Aguis.
Height 60", Width 36", Depth 18 1/2".Circa 1890's