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American Antique Desks

The corporate office layout is enormously different when compared to offices even twenty years ago. Effucuebt electronic recordkeeping and communications replaced copious amounts of paperwork and ergonomic cubicles took the place of traditional desks and chairs. Even so, antique desks remain popular choices in mid-level and C-suite corporate environments, as well as in home offices.

American antique desks generally fall into two categories: those intended for commercial use and those made for domestic spaces. Desks created for commercial use tended to be larger, simpler, and more utilitarian in design, though some featured gilt, tooled tops, or heavy-set legs. Domestic desks were usually smaller in size and more ornate, with inlays of exotic woods and sometimes gilded or brass accents.

Ranging from leather-topped to gilded, with reeded legs and built-in storage, American antique desks come with a rich history and are collectible classics in their own right.


Quick Facts

  • In 1989, an elaborately carved 18th-century desk by master Rhode Island cabinetmaker John Goddard sold at a Christie's New York auction for $1.2 million
  • In 1989, an 18th-century desk produced by fine American furniture maker John Goddard sold at auction for an unbelievable $12.1 million
  • A late-18th century Chippendale cherry slant-lid desk sold at Skinner in September 2015 for a very modest $492

Recommended Items at Auction

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A LATE 18TH CENTURY NEW ENGLAND HEPPLEWHITE
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
A LATE 18TH CENTURY NEW ENGLAND HEPPLEWHITE
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $500- $1,000
$2500 Bids
LATE 18TH CENTURY AMERICAN CHIPPENDALE SLANT LID
Nov 13, 10:00 AM EST
LATE 18TH CENTURY AMERICAN CHIPPENDALE SLANT LID
by Marion Antique Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5000 Bids
17TH C. CARVED OAK SLANT LID BOX
Nov 12, 11:00 AM EST
17TH C. CARVED OAK SLANT LID BOX
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5000 Bids
WRITING DESK
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CDT
WRITING DESK
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
19th C. French Inlaid Lap Desk
Nov 06, 10:00 AM EDT
19th C. French Inlaid Lap Desk
by Roland Auctions NY
Est: $600- $800
$3000 Bids
19TH CENTURY MAHOGANY SLANT FRONT DESK
Nov 16, 11:00 AM EST
19TH CENTURY MAHOGANY SLANT FRONT DESK
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $300- $500
$2500 Bids
Antique Oak Raised Panel Partners Desk, Circa 1900
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Oak Raised Panel Partners Desk, Circa 1900
by Winfield Auction Gallery
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids
Mahogany Slant Front Secretary/Bookcase
Nov 20, 11:00 AM CST
Mahogany Slant Front Secretary/Bookcase
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$2,0000 Bids
19thc Ladies Rosewood Writing Desk
Nov 27, 2:00 PM EST
19thc Ladies Rosewood Writing Desk
by Connoisseur Online
Est: $300- $600
$1500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Antique Desks


Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Nadeau's Auction Gallery

Marion Antique Auctions

Marion Antique Auctions

Eldred's

Eldred's

Neal Auction Company

Neal Auction Company