One of our Superb Large Antique Partners Desks

Friday, 9 December 2011


Price      Lets be honest - price is often a consideration.  Antique Desks offer fantastic value for money at the moment - in many instances they are now significantly cheaper than modern reproductions - see examples at
Quality   Fine antique furniture was made to last - substantial and robust, a well restored antique desk will last (another) life time

Investment?   Not necessarily - BUT - a quality antique desk will certainly retain a good proportion of its value better than a new piece of furniture.  If you choose carefully and choose a stylish piece (perhaps one that is also marked by a well known cabinet marker) then it will certainly be sought after by future generations

A Piece of History.   A fine antique desk will have been used by many people over its lifetime.  Just possibly it will also have traceable history to interesting users in the past. It may have markers that directly point to a specific period or maker.  It will certainly have character and style, and be unique

Style.    Whether you prefer Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Arts & Crafts or Art Deco.  Whether you prefer classic mahogany, mellow oak or figured rosewood or walnut, there will be a style to suit you and your home or office. See examples at

Practicality.  These pieces of furniture were made for working!  Historically people used them extensively whether at home for day to day correspondence or their workplace.  They are generally a thoroughly practical proposition for today's world of home working and computers

Size Matters!     Antique desks come in all shapes and sizes - from ladies small writing desks to full sized office partners desks - see examples at

Period Features.    A Georgian Desk for a Georgian House, a Victorian Desk for a Victorian house, an Edwardian desk for an Edwardian house - match your desk to your home and/or office in an authentic manner

"The Full Monty"    With care it is possible to find a full suite of antique office furniture that matches your fine antique desk.  Antique writing and library tables, antique bookcases, antique desk and library chairs, antique reading tables and stands - our clients have bought all these extra pieces to match their desk - see stock at

Finally.    Why buy a reproduction when you can have the real thing at a great price and  a desk that will last a lifetime !?!

Thursday, 24 November 2011


Lots of new stock recently arrived at the UK's largest dedicated website for fine Antiques Desks and Antique Writing Furniture.

Several new Antique Partners Desks, Antique Writing Desks, Antique Writing Tables and Antique Library Tables are now in stock and ready for delivery.  Other new stock is undergoing restoration and this restoration can be customised to meet the Clients requirements in many instances.

Visit our Antique Desks New Arrivals page and also visit our Antique Desks Special Offers page for some great reductions on unique Antique Desks, Antique Writing and Reading tables and Antique Bookcases.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Antique Desk Restoration  All our newly arrived antique desks and antique writing tables are thoroughly checked over by our expert restorers and a specific restoration programme is agreed for each desk or table (as necessary).  This may range from a light clean and polish to a full structural renovation with new leather writing surface etc. We always aim to retain as much originality as possible in all our restoration work.  More details on our restoration processes and examples of the fine work of our professional restorers can be found on our Antique Desk Restoration page on our website (Click here to follow the link)

Friday, 14 October 2011

Fine Antique Desks

Each month buys many antique desks and antique writing tables for sale and restoration - we put a selection of these on our "Antique Desks - New Arrivals Page".

Those items that are shown as "under restoration" can be selected by clients for restoration to their preicse specification - for example where a new leather writing surface has to be fitted the Client can specify the colur and style of tooling.

As usual please Contact Us for more details.

Thursday, 8 September 2011 - UK Deliveries

Please note that as of 8th September 2011 is offering FREE UK DELIVERY on all its stock of fine Antique Desks and Antique Writing Tables - making our desks and tables even better value for money!

Deliveries are made by professional antiques couriers and are insured.  Delivery can take up to 14days from tiume of order or up to 28 days in exceptionally busy periods or the holiday season.

International clients will continue to benfit from the highly competitive rates we are able to obtain for deliveries to the EU, USA and further afield.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Fine Antique Bookcases

To completement its range of fine antique desks and antique writing tables also sells a range of Antique Bookcases.

Our stock of Antique Bookcases is focussed on smaller sizes and on "Open" Antique Bookcases.  We stock Antique Victorian Bookcases, Antique Edwardian Bookcases and Antique Bookcases in Mahogany, Oak and walnut.

See oir current stock of Antique Bookcases at

Monday, 27 June 2011


Antique office furniture is really a term that is best applied to Edwardian (post 1900) and later antique funriture. 

Office furniture that we take for granted today only started to appear post 1900 - the filing cabinet being a good example.  It is rare to see a filing cabinet dating from the 1800's - even the cabinets from the early 1900's tended to have thin horizontal shelves for holding papers - not the modern hanging systems we are more familiar with today.

Desks and bookcases of course have been part of the "office" scene for some time.  A Victorian office work place would have had a number of types of desk depending on the seniority of the worker - e.g. small Davenport Type Clerks Desks, Dickens Type Clerks Desks, Bankers Desks, Pedestal Desks, Partners Desks etc

At we recognise that we can't source a Georgian, Regency or Victorian filiing cabinet to match one of our period desks.  We therefore commission a well known firm of British craftsmen to make modern style filing systems to match our genuine antique desks and writing tables in terms of wood, colour and even handle type and style - perhaps this is the best of both worlds!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Special Antique Desks featured in the April 16th 2011 Edition of the Financial Times Superior Interiors Magazine.   Their feature on "VIP Desks" (page 70) explained how a celebrated former owner can add cachet (and value) to an antique desk or antique writing table.  Lynda Lawrence, Director of Lawpan Ltd, owners of and was interviewed and discussed some of the more celebrated antique desks that our business has handled over the 30+ years we have been in business.

The FT arcticle also gave several examples of antique desks owned and sold by a number of well known personalities including Charles Dickens (desk sold at auction for £433,250), Lord Lucan (desk sold for £13,200)  and desks used by Agatha Christie and Formula One Motor Racing Driver, Graham Hill.

Our experience is that a well known former owner certainly adds to the value and saleability of an antique desk or antique writing table, but other factors are also important including the originality of the desk and its fittings. specifically searches out desks with the highest levels of originality, this being a more important criteria to us than condition itself - since we can always sympathetically restore a desk.  We look for original leather writing surfaces, drawer handles, brass locks and even castors and wheels.

We also look for antique desks and antique writing and library tables and chairs stamped by their makers (Gillows, Holland & Sons, Edwards & Roberts, Shapland & Petter , Shoolbred etc) as well as those bearing their retailers labels - (Heals, Maple & Co etc) and those with a well defined style that can be linked to a well known maker or retailer e.g. Liberty's

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Antique Library Tables

We have noticed a trend recently for some of our Clients to specify a large Antique Library Table or Antique Writing Table rather than a traditional Antique Partners Desk or Antique Pedestal Desk for their home office.  Compared to a desk the slim profile of the table opens up a room and allows any feature floor coverings (or wood flooring) to be shown off to its best while still providing a large work area and some storage.

Library tables typically have drawers to both sides of the table and the larger tables come in four drawer or six drawer configurations.  Since there are drawers to both sides of the Antique Library Table they are sometimes known as "Partners Tables" (in the same way as a two sided desk is known as a Partners Desk).  Georgian, Regency, William IV, Victorian and Edwardian tables can all be found in various sizes, woods and styles.

Top quality Antique Library Tables usually have a leather writing surface and we have seen examples in all the main woods used for cabinet making - mahogany, oak and walnut.  We would classify a large Antique Library Table as up to (or beyond ) 72" (183cm) in width and perhaps 36" (91cm) or 48" (122cm) in depth.  A medium size table would be more usually around 60" (153cm) in width. Example Ref 3030 Large Antique Victorian Mahogany Library Table

Other important things to look out for in a quality Antique Library Table would be the shape of the legs as well as the top having  "crossbanded" veneers.   Quality brass locks and wheeled castors can also be important indicators of the pedigree of an Antqiue Library Table.

Some examples of top qaulity tables from the Antique Desks Current Stock and Stock Archive can be seen by following the links below.  Stock ref 3009 - by Antique Library Table by Holland & Sons is well worth looking at - including the Gallery showing the Queen Victoria Inventory Stamps to the underside of the table.

Monday, 23 May 2011

NEW STOCK - ANTIQUE DESKS & ANTIQUE WRITING TABLES has new stock arriving most weeks.  From fine antique partners desks, antique pedestal desks and antique writing desks in all sizes and styles to antique writing tables and antique library tables and antique desk chairs.

As our new stock of antique desks and antique writing tables arrives at our premises we take preliminary photographs for   Clients can then see what stock may be soon be available  for delivery once it has been checked and restored to the very best retail condition.  Clients may also specify elements of the restoration to customise the antique desk or antique writing table to their particular needs .e.g colour and style of leather writing surface - where appropriate, of course.

To see more visit

Monday, 16 May 2011

Antique Desk Chairs supplies fine antique desk chairs to match their genuine antique desks.  We supply genuine Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian antique desk chairs.  We can also supply new desk chairs custom made to our clients requirements.  Various sizes and style of antique desk chair can be found to suit most types of antique desk that we supply including antique partners desks, antique pedestal desks, antique writing desks, antique writing tables and antique library tables

Fine genuine antique desk chairs are increasingly hard to find in good condition.  By their very nature the chairs will have been well used and often require extensive restoration to both the fabric of the chair and its mechanism (where fitted).  The repair of the swivelling mechanism of an Antique Victorian Desk Chair, for example, is a skilled task involving not just a traditional antique restorer but also a skilled metal worker or mechanical engineer!  Because of this, original antique desk chairs are often un-economic to repair - sad to say.  Nonetheless we always strive to keep a few excellent examples in stock for clients who wish to have a genuine antique desk chair to match their desk.

In addition  is able to commission new custom made desk chairs from a long established firm of British craftsmen.  These chairs can be custom made in a wide variety of styles, woods, finishes and leathers to match our clients choice of antique desk and their home decor.   Prices are much the same as for a genuine antique desk chair but with the advantage that the chair has been custom made and has all the modern ergonomic fittings and adjustments - for those who will be using the chair for long periods in their office or home study this can be a big plus!  Delivery of these new chairs takes about 6-8 weeks from time of order.  More details can be found on our Custom Made Desk Chairs web page. 

Finding multiple antique desk chairs that match is even more difficult than finding a single antique desk chair in good order - yet for an antique partners desk or antique library table this may be a requirement.  This is another areas where a matching pair ( or full set) of custom made desk chairs can be supplied by

Some examples of the fine combinations of antique desks and antique desk chairs we have recently sold can be seen on our Antique Desks and Antique Desk Chair Sets web page.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Care of Antique Furniture (including Antique Desks!)

CARE OF ANTIQUE FURNITURE (Including Antique Desks!)

These guidance notes have been compiled from advice published by various professional bodies and organisations, including the British Antique Dealers Association (BADA), the Association of Art and Antiques Dealers (LAPADA) and the British Antique Furniture Restorers Association (BAFRA).

Keep antique furniture well away from strong sources of direct heat, such as central heating radiators which may warp veneers. We would recommend that a distance of at least three feet is maintained between radiators or direct heat sources and antique furniture. The aim should be to maintain room temperatures as constant as is reasonably possible, avoiding large variations between maximum and minimum.
Antique furniture is made from naturally dried timber and therefore it retains more moisture than modern furniture (which is normally built from kiln-dried timber). As long as heat sources are not too close to them, all types of antique furniture can normally withstand a wide range of temperatures that are reasonably constant, but as wood is an organic material, it is levels of very high or very low relative humidity that can cause problems:
  • Humidity levels should be kept within the 45% - 70% range.
  • The 45% - 70% range is particularly important in centrally heated and air conditioned rooms and in climates with high humidity.
  • A simple hygrometer will enable the humidity level to be monitored. For more information or to purchase a hygrometer, visit ETI Ltd at
  • ETI Ltd can usually provide specialist advice on an individual basis.
  • Humidity levels below 45% are too dry an atmosphere in which to keep antique furniture. A simple remedy would be to use a domestic room humidifier to make the air less dry.
  • Humidity levels above 70% are too wet an atmosphere in which to keep antique furniture. In these situations, air conditioning units and de-humidifiers can be used to control levels of humidity.
  • Failure to maintain humidity levels at between 45%-70% can lead to antique furniture changing slightly in size as the wood absorbs or loses moisture. In turn this can lead to veneers bubbling, lifting and cracking, or joints becoming twisted.
  • Professional correction of the problems that can develop through frequent exposure to extreme (i.e. below 45% or above 70%) levels of humidity can be expensive.
  • Hygrometers need not be expensive and their use to monitor and assess relative humidity levels is therefore highly recommended.
Patina: This is the term given to the individual visible characteristics of a piece of furniture accumulated over many years of use and polishing. Patina may include old marks and surface damage, which should generally be preserved. It is best to consult with professional bodies such as those mentioned above, before undertaking the restoration of badly damaged antiques.
Polishing: Waxing with a good quality furniture polish based on beeswax highlights the colour and grain of polished wood and helps provide protection for wooden surfaces. The use of spray polishes should be avoided as most contain silicone which can build up over time and form a sticky surface film which is difficult to remove. To polish efficiently, place a small amount of wax on a soft cloth and rub the piece of furniture until the wax on the cloth shines. This will burnish the surface and evaporate any solvent. Then follow by polishing with a clean duster. If possible, apply the polish and allow it to dry overnight, which can help nourish the wood. Polish the following day. If the wood has become very dry, the wax will soak in rapidly. Normally, wax polishing need not be carried out more than once every few months, as too much wax will cause dullness and absorb dust. However, frequent dusting is important, using a clean, soft, dry dusting cloth. This will encourage a hard skin to form on the wood, which will help to provide protection and improve patina.
Cleaning: If furniture is heavily soiled, it may be necessary to clean it, using a soft, damp cloth which has been well wrung out.  A weak solution of vinegar diluted in water can be used to clean more thoroughly, but only on polished and undamaged wood. After cleaning, wipe again with a clean cloth rinsed in clear water and dry immediately with absorbent paper or a soft dry cloth.
Water Marks: Any accidental spillages or wet ring marks left by drinking glasses should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Allow areas that have become wet to dry thoroughly, which may take several days. Once dry, apply clear furniture wax. If wax is applied before the affected area is completely dry, a dark discolouration may occur due to different rates of absorption between the wet and the dry areas the wooden surface. Ring marks left by drinking glasses on polished surfaces can sometimes be removed with a small amount of Brasso brass cleaner, applied with a soft cloth. If at all possible, work on a small trial area first to ensure that this process does not do any damage to the surface to be treated. 
Metalwork: Handles and mounts made of brass should not be polished with metal cleaners as they may damage the wooden surfaces around the metal and can also strip away certain types of gilding. Brass can be kept bright with light burnishing while dusting. Gilded bronze or ormolu has a very delicate surface which should not be polished. Rather, it should simply be dusted with a very soft brush. This sort of metal ornamentation should be handled as little as possible, as the acid in all fingerprints can cause damage.
Upholstery: This should be gently vacuumed regularly to prevent any accumulation of dust or pests.
Candlewax: Lift off candlewax in a slab when it is cold. Alternatively, warm the wax with a hot-water bottle wrapped in a clean cloth. Then gently remove the wax using a fingernail.
Leather: Leather writing surfaces can be protected using clear furniture wax, applied sparingly every few months. Dry or cracked leather surfaces can be revitalised using a combination of beeswax and lanolin, but spot test a small area to ensure that no staining is caused.
Long term exposure to direct sunlight will cause the colour in most wood to fade. If polished surfaces become damaged from to much exposure to direct sunlight, the fading may be uneven and affect the appearance of the finish. Consider the use of blinds, particularly when a room or office is unoccupied. Also consider the position of the furniture in the room in relation to its direct exposure to sunlight. 
Wood beetles lay their eggs in cracks and crevices in the wood, which later hatch as larvae (woodworm). Check furniture regularly for signs of freshly bored holes (flight holes) and deposits of wood dust which may indicate active woodworm infestation. Fortunately treatment is fairly straightforward if this problem is dealt with early. Unpolished wooden surfaces can be treated with a readily available fluid to kill eggs and woodworm. The fluid may, however, damage the finish to polished surfaces and in these situations help and advice should be sort from professional furniture restorers or specialist firms. The presence of old flight holes with no traces of wood dust usually indicate that previous problems have been properly dealt with.
Common sense dictates that antique furniture should be treated with care and respect. Never tilt back whilst seated at an antique chair. If a drawer has two handles, the both should be used to open the drawer. Furniture should be lifted rather than dragged across floors; lifting from the lowest part of the furniture’s frame. Chairs should be picked up from beneath the seat. Remove as much weight as possible from furniture before attempting to move it. Drawers should be unloaded and removed if there is a need to reduce the weight of a piece. The same applies to adjustable bookcase shelving. Beware of drawers and doors which can suddenly open when furniture is being moved. They are best removed or temporarily locked.
Sympathetic and honest restoration of antique furniture is quite acceptable. It is important however, that such work is carried out by professionally trained individuals, who will use the correct traditional materials. Chipped, lifted or bubbled veneers should be repaired as quickly as possible. Only water soluble adhesives should be used for repairs. Small chips of wood or veneer can be held in place with masking tape (not Sellotape) prior to professional attention. Drawers and doors which stick can be eased by rubbing candle wax on the contact surfaces 
Repairing antique furniture is a difficult and is a highly specialised skill. Qualified and professional advice should be sort before any repair work is undertaken.
The Antique Writing Furniture Specialists

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Introducing Antique Desks

This is the first Blog by Antique Desks, the Blog of  We are specialist international antique dealers based in the historic city of Canterbury in Kent, UK.  Our specialism is fine Antique Writing and Reading Furniture, including Antique Partners Desks, Antique Pedestal Desks, Antique Writing Tables and Antique Library Tables. We search the UK (and further afield) for highly original examples of fine furniture and bring them to our showroom in Canterbury where they are restored (if necessary) and prepared for sale.  All stock is then catalogued and photographed in detail before being loaded onto our prime website

Our restorers work to the very highest standard and aim to retain as much originality in each piece as possible.  For example, in many instances we can retail original leather work - 100 years old or more.  Our stock is shipped to its new owners by professional antique shippers and in our 30+ years of trading we now have many delighted clients not just across the UK , but in many European countries, North America and Australia.

In future Blogs we shall focus on many aspects of our business.  Care and selection of antique writing furniture will be covered as well as the background to specific types of furniture such as Antique Partners Desks, Antique Writing Tables, Antique Davenport Desks and more.

Some photos of our recent stock are included at the foot of the Blog !  A full view of our current stock can be seen at:  Antique Desks and Antique Writing Tables for Sale