One of our Superb Large Antique Partners Desks

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