11 Apr 2021
January 30, 2012 - Filed under: Antique Desks — Harriet

In Lancashire, antique desks come in all shapes and sizes, from elegant portable writing slopes to massive Victorian oak partners desks of the kind used in 19th century banks and boardrooms. Antique desks are extremely popular right now and knowing what to look out for is essential for choosing the perfect style for you.

Antique desks are attractive, useful items of furniture which can represent a sound investment, so long as you look for quality. The general rule of “the older the better” still holds true, although this can limit your choice. The first antique mahogany pedestal desks in Lancashire date from the 1750s, with Thomas Chippendale and his contemporaries. Prior to this was the Queen Anne style of writing table, a more compact piece of furniture which nonetheless had the drawers and kneehole characteristic of the pedestal desk. Veneered in walnut or oak, there was often a central cupboard in front of the kneehole, which could be very awkward for the user.

The very first antique desk in Cumbria was the fall-front bureau, dating from the late 1600s. This evolved from the writing slope and chest-of-drawers arrangement that preceded it. However, writing desks of one sort or another have been used since the Roman and Mediaeval periods. Just as today, if something needed to be written, a table was the most convenient place to do it. Over time, various specific components were added in the form of lockable drawers, sunken inkwells, pigeonholes etc.

Before the Industrial Revolution, desks were found only in wealthy households. However, by the early 19th century a new business class had arisen, with a plethora of different desk styles for the workplace, school and home. Today, antique dealers in Preston sell Victorian oak partners desks, Davenports, butler desks, secretaires and more. No two antique desks are the same.

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