15 Oct 2019
October 7, 2019 - Filed under: Antique Desks — Richard

The author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s portable desk is for sale.

Conan Doyle travelled a lot and wanted to work when he was away from home. In 1925, he decided he needed a travel trunk that could convert into a writing desk. Conan Doyle designed the trunk and commissioned French luxury luggage maker Goyard to make it.

The portable desk looks like a trunk from the outside and is about the same weight and size as a standard travel trunk. It unfolds and transforms into a writing desk with a bookcase, space for a typewriter and storage space. Goyard made six other portable desks of a similar design, one of which can be seen in a French museum and the others in private collections. It is possible that Conan Doyle wrote some of his Sherlock Holmes stories at this desk, though there is no record of this.

The owner of the desk, Timothy Oulton, collects antique and vintage trunks and has put Conan Doyle’s portable desk on sale at the Bluebird Garage gallery in London’s Chelsea. It has a price tag of £96,000.

You can see fine examples of antique desks at Lancashire antique dealers priced at considerably less than £96,000. They may not have been owned by a famous writer, but they are useful as well as elegant looking. Antique desks are not usually suitable for travelling, you will find a laptop much more convenient, but the desks make wonderful pieces of furniture.

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