Early 18th century antique furniture, apart from being extremely beautiful, was also compact and very versatile. One of its main legacies is happenstance where wonderful golden brown patinas form on walnut veneers over the 300 years or so since the piece was made. Another legacy has been its size and simplicity where period pieces are well suited to smaller houses and apartment living today.
Two basic shapes convert into a selection of pieces. The writing table or dressing table, essentially the same piece of furniture, takes two forms. One is a table top with a shallow drawer flanked by two deeper drawers with the whole set on cabriole legs. This piece can also have a chest of drawers placed on top which then becomes a tallboy. The other type of writing table is essentially a chest of drawers where a kneehole is cut into the middle and a small cupboard placed at the back to provide extra storage. In this case, the whole is placed on bracket feet. Other variations such as the bureau and secretaire cabinet are basically chests of drawers with a writing box or cupboard placed on top.
Undoubtedly these pieces of exquisite furniture are highly prized and costly in monetary terms. However, their craftsmanship provides a benchmark for outstanding quality and opportunities should always be taken to examine and appreciate these fine original pieces of early English furniture. When looking for period and revival Queen Anne antique walnut writing tables and antique chests, Lancashire and Cumbria dealers will be pleased to show you any pieces they have in stock.
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