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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 painted and vinegar grained standing desk, possibly Kentucky, circa 1845
Apr 30, 11:00 AM EDT
A painted and vinegar grained standing desk, possibly Kentucky, circa 1845
by Freeman's | Hindman
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$1,5001 Bid
Antique Federal Period Hall Table Writing Desk
Apr 25, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Federal Period Hall Table Writing Desk
by Greenwich Auction
Est: $200- $300
$500 Bids
PAINTED COUNTER TOP CLERK'S DESK.
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
PAINTED COUNTER TOP CLERK'S DESK.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $150- $250
$800 Bids
A William & Mary tiger maple and burl walnut veneered slant-front desk, New England, circa 1730
Apr 30, 11:00 AM EDT
A William & Mary tiger maple and burl walnut veneered slant-front desk, New England, circa 1730
by Freeman's | Hindman
Est: $2,000- $2,500
$1,0000 Bids
Antique Davenport Salesman's Sample
May 07, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Davenport Salesman's Sample
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $50- $500
$250 Bids
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L. & J.G. STICKLEY DESK Circa 1910 Height 29". Width 54". Depth 32".
Apr 24, 9:30 AM EDT
L. & J.G. STICKLEY DESK Circa 1910 Height 29". Width 54". Depth 32".
by Eldred's
Est: $400- $600
$2000 Bids
American Sheraton Pine and Paint Decorated One Drawer Writing Desk, 19th Century
Apr 27, 9:30 AM EDT
American Sheraton Pine and Paint Decorated One Drawer Writing Desk, 19th Century
by Rafael Osona Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
AMERICAN LATE EMPIRE DESK.
Apr 26, 10:00 AM EDT
AMERICAN LATE EMPIRE DESK.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
COUNTRY VICTORIAN DESK.
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
COUNTRY VICTORIAN DESK.
by Amelia Jeffers
Est: $100- $300
$500 Bids

Sellers Who Sell American Antique Desks


Amelia Jeffers

Amelia Jeffers

Freeman's | Hindman

Freeman's | Hindman

Eldred's

Eldred's

Bill Hood & Sons Arts & Antiques Auctions

Bill Hood & Sons Arts & Antiques Auctions