The emergence of leather topped desks in the 18th to early 19th Centuries occurred as the craze for writing among the general masses really took off. Before this period desks were usually humble tables or converted boxes. As you know any raised wood grain of the surface can interfere with an elegant flowing script, but it was found the softer cushioning effect of a leather Skiver (name for the leather used on a desk) to be a great solution. It also helped protect the expensive leather bound books being viewed on them. Soon thin tanned leathers in various colours with gilt tooled detailing were be used on desks to great effect and we have never looked back since. Since Skivers require careful preparation and fitting they are usually a sign of a quality desk. One can find them on grand Knee Hole desks, Library tables or elegant Davenports. As a cheaper alternative people did use first Oil Cloth and then Vinyl, but down through the years nothing has ever compared to leather for comfort and durability. Today modern Skiver replacements are common and often preferred on older desks.
At LoveAntiques we have a great selection of quality antique leather top desks as well as vintage leather top desks for sale as well.
George III Mahogany Partners Writing Table with Green Leather Writing Surface
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