George III Period Mahogany Secretary Desk, England
GEORGE III MAHOGANY SECRETARY DESK
England, circa late 18th/early 19th century
Item # 709XGP29A
A practical and restrained example from the George III period, this fine secretary desk is a tidy and well crafted display piece. The use of veneers is rather limited, the craftsman choosing to work in solid planks in most areas, rather effectively matching the grain of these solid planks where possible to create a very pleasing flow between the bookcase and lower case sides. The cove crown molding is embellished with a row of dentil molding. The fourteen glazed panes in the bookcase doors appear to be original with most of the original puddy holding them in place, each divided by a reeded astragal molding; these open to reveal a display unit that was added during the 20th century. This is simply an insert and can be quickly removed to bring the bookcase back to its’ original form, though shelves would have to be fabricated for it since those have since been lost. Electricity and lighting is installed in the case, but will have to be rewired in order to be used safely in the modern home.
The faux top drawer drops on curved brass hardware to reveal a gilt-tooled green leather writing surface and a series of drawers and pigeon-holes for organizing papers and letters. Two of the drawers have gone missing over the years, which is rather unfortunate, and the knobs are somewhat mismatched - we can have these replaced with reproduction “period correct” brass knobs upon request to keep everything uniform if that is preferred. The lock on the drop front is an 1880’s replacement by Chatwoods (stamped “Chatwoods Patent Lever, 31818, Bolton”).
The desk rests over its’ original bracket feet and retains all original back boards with the red wash typical of the period.
It is a most attractive desk for the classical interior or functioning study, being a practical piece with great strength and sturdiness throughout.
Measurements: 34 1/2” W x 20 5/8” D x 83” H; writing area is 31 5/8” W x 35 1/2” D x 30 1/2” H from floor to surface
Desk lock replaced, no key - one key for bookcase. Missing two interior drawers, knobs replaced, one knob missing. Bookcase insert removable & non-altering. Original feet, some missing spurs. Replaced brasses in original holes. Light surface wear & minor patching (drawer blades, etc.).