Antique desks are a functional and decorative piece of furniture, a historical writing platform for by-gone communication and a reminder of an age when letter writing was the main means of correspondence. They are practically useful to store pens, paper and books, sometimes-antique desks will have built in bookcases and often they have a large surface area for writing and reading.
Whether you are looking for an antique desk for an academic, professional capacity or for personal use you will find an array to choose from including a flat desk, a roll top desk, a school desk, a lap desk, a ship captain desk, a knee-hole desk, a bookcase dropdown desk, a drafting table, a travel desk, a davenport and escritoire. An antique secretary is slightly different to a desk in the sense it has a fold down flat surface as opposed to a permanent flat surface.
Illustrations of desks first appeared in medieval times and appear to have been made and used for the purpose of reading and writing. Early desks were often very large and heavy, the structure was big to allow for space when copying books by hand. Integral to the design were slots and hooks, which would have been used for bookmarks and writing paraphernalia. During the Renaissance period desks became smaller in size and drawers featured increasingly as craftsmanship improved. Earlier desks also tended to have sloped tops as they were mainly used in monasteries and universities.
An antique roll top desk is a worthy investment, as they are in such short supply. Due to this they are highly sought after and a valuable antique piece. Antique roll top desks are also useful as paperwork can be stored privately. You may possibly find some unique vintage roll top desks that are equally attractive.
During the Victorian period and early 19thC quality woods were more easily available. Due to this veneers were cut thicker meaning they tended to have nice figuring and even the drawers and their linings were made of expensive woods such as cedar, oak and mahogany.
In particular a mahogany antique desk will fetch a high price due to its strength and durability. Also of note is an antique desk with its original leather writing surface, these surfaces are a rarity and are in demand by antique collectors.
The majority of antique desks may have been subject to restoration work but this need not deter you from purchasing such a piece, as long as the work carried out is in keeping and sympathetic to the antique desks style.
An antique desk sits beautifully in the home, its impact dependant on its size, from a stately heavy larger desk to a delicate Victorian flat desk. They tell a story in themselves with their unique locks, partitions, drawers, cubbyholes, pigeonholes, inkwells and carvings. The marks and signs of usage on an antique desk is just an added feature of the charm.
732 items available.
Fine Edwardian Walnut Leather Topped Writing Desk
This wonderful Edwardian Walnut Antique Pedestal Writing Desk dates from ca. 1900, has a rectangular top with reeded edge and central tooled leather writing ...
A great looking two drawer desk probably by Crusader, St James Square, London presented in good historic order. Crusader made decent desks and this one is an unfussy well-designed piece ...
This one is a smaller size than some but still with 2 useful drawers and surviving from the 1940s in great order. It’s of a compact design, 2 long drawers ...
Good quality cast brass desk lamp with traditional green glass shade,
sizes are approximate
If you would like any more information on this piece or would like to go ahead ...
Victorian Mahogany 2 Drawer Writing Table. Having ring turned legs with brass castors. 2 Drawers with turned knobs and original key. The brown leather writing surface having hand applied gilt ...
This desk stands on square back legs and round turned front bun feet supporting the main section where there are two large doors either side of the knee hole. There ...
Superb Quality Early 19th Century Regency Rosewood Library Table Circa 1820. Elegantly proportioned with original turned handles, feet & castors. Two frieze drawers to the front with dummy drawers to ...
Superb Arts and Craft writing table attributed to Liberty and co of London. Double cupboards to upper section with coloured glass leaded doors, the single frieze drawer opens to form ...
This is a fine quality 19th Century Victorian antique burr walnut freestanding kidney shaped writing desk table, with a gilded pierced brass gallery green leather top walnut cross banding and ...
Superb Quality Victorian Burr Walnut Piano Top Davenport with Pop-Up Top.
Excellent original condition with working pop-up top mechanism, original handles, locks, brass gallery & castors. Lift the piano top ...
This quality burr walnut 20th century writing desk has a leather writing surface with burr walnut border and carved edge, The desk has a long drawer too the break front ...
Fine quality Edwardian walnut Carlton House Desk. Pierced fretwork gallery above the shaped superstructure which houses pigeon holes, a central cupboard and hinged serpentine shaped falls with inlaid oval panels. ...
This is a beautiful large 19th Century English antique desk with 9 drawers on one side and 3 drawers and 2 cupboard doors on the other side.
Designed to be central ...
This is an antique inlaid mahogany kidney shaped desk has 9 drawers and inset leather top
This is a superior quality late Victorian antique solid oak roll top desk, with fielded panels to the sides and back of the exterior. Well fitted interior with a selection ...
This is a good late 19th Century antique rosewood davenport desk with classical painted decoration.
This is a good quality 19th Century antique leather top writing desk table with ornately shaped top with inserts for two inkwells and a pen tray.
This Edwardian satin desk is in superb condition and of the highest quality. Boasting a lovely colour, with satinwood crossbanding and a single large drawer over the knee hole flanked ...
This unusual and rare chinoiserie cabinet on stand is smothered in decorative hand painted oriental scenes and florals, inlaid with mother of pearl. Chinoiserie entered European art and decoration in ...
This is a very pretty 'Sheraton revival' Bonheur du jour which has tapered legs with a shaped stretcher. 1 x mahogany Lined drawer. The top section featuring an arrangement of ...
A good quality small antique Victorian mahogany writing table or desk with a single drawer. In mellow well-figured mahogany it stands on elegant turned legs with brass cup casters. With ...
A stylish and good quality Art Deco desk in walnut which has one slim wide drawer flanked by two deep drawers, all with brass drop handles and working locks (comes ...
This is a very elegant 'Sheraton revival' mahogany 2 drawer writing table which stands on tapered legs with original brass and porcelain castors. 2 x mahogany lined drawers with satinwood ...
This very fine quality Victorian walnut kidney shaped writing table is English made in the French taste. The Walnut veneer is offset by a contrasting cross grained moulding to the ...
* Victorian carved oak hall table
* 3 drawer writing table with back
* The front being carved
* 3 drawers with solid oak linings
Medium sized antique Victorian pedestal desk in mahogany with a tooled leather writing surface. It’s in good condition, having just been fully restored & French polished. The drawers which are ...
A delightful burr walnut desk, having 2 lockable (keys present) cupboards to either side and a central drawer. All the knob handles are original. There is a new leather writing ...
This is a good quality burr walnut pedestal desk which has 9 smoothly running drawers fitted with original brass swan neck handles. She is made from walnut and burr walnut ...
This is a 19th Century French antique 4 drawer writing table or desk. It would also make an excellent centre table. Made from oak with painted decoration in Grey. Mid ...
This is a fine quality antique mahogany writing table in lovely condition & with a beautifully aged & coloured tooled leather writing surface. I would date it to the William ...
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