Loading Spinner

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

See all items

L&JG Stickley One-Drawer Desk c1910s
Dec 03, 11:00 AM PST
L&JG Stickley One-Drawer Desk c1910s
by California Historical Design, Inc
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,0000 Bids
American Federal Cherrywood Writing Desk
Dec 04, 10:00 AM CST
American Federal Cherrywood Writing Desk
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $1,200- $1,800
$1,0000 Bids
AMERICAN WALNUT KNAPP JOINERY WORK DESK, 96"W
Dec 10, 9:00 AM CST
AMERICAN WALNUT KNAPP JOINERY WORK DESK, 96"W
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $800- $1,500
$4000 Bids
Prairie School Arts & Crafts Five-Drawer Desk c1905
Dec 03, 11:00 AM PST
Prairie School Arts & Crafts Five-Drawer Desk c1905
by California Historical Design, Inc
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$1,0000 Bids
Gustav Stickley Safe-Craft Strap-Hinge Dropfront Desk c1905
Dec 03, 11:00 AM PST
Gustav Stickley Safe-Craft Strap-Hinge Dropfront Desk c1905
by California Historical Design, Inc
Est: $12,000- $15,000
$8,0000 Bids
Federal Style Crossbanded Walnut Slant-Front Desk, 19th Century
Dec 09, 10:00 AM EST
Federal Style Crossbanded Walnut Slant-Front Desk, 19th Century
by Weschler's
Est: $800- $1,200
$4000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Antique Desks


California Historical Design, Inc

California Historical Design, Inc

New Orleans Auction Galleries

New Orleans Auction Galleries

Weschler's

Weschler's

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery