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Desks - General

The earliest known images of desks in use date to 1440, when drawings depicting scribes sitting at sloped desks copying documents, manuscripts, and books. By the Renaissance era, the desk had come into its own as not only a work space for the literate few, but as a status symbol for the social elite.

Some of the most popular work stations produced were French Provincial desks. They were decorated with cabriole legs and scalloped carvings and rendered in oak, cherry, walnut, beech, or fruitwood. Others preferred multi-purpose pieces with more built-in storage like the Chippendale secretary desk, which boasted a drop-front writing surface, chest-style drawer,s and bookcase-like top.

The kidney desk, which first appeared in 18th-century France and England, made a strong return in the late 1940s. The style remains popular in traditional and contemporary design today.

Thanks to John D. Loughlin, who designed the first scaled-down desks for school use in 1880, children of all ages could have their own dedicated work space. Now, antique school desks have become hits with parents and nostalgic collectors alike.

From the stand-up desks preferred by the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci and Thomas Jefferson to classic executive desks used by corporate leaders, desks in all forms are popular at auction.

Recommended Items at Auction

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CAPTAIN'S DESK
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CDT
CAPTAIN'S DESK
by Selkirk Auctioneers & Appraisers
Est: $100- $300
$1757 Bids
LOUIS XV PROVINCIAL OAK AND CHERRY WRITING DESK
Nov 03, 10:00 AM EDT
LOUIS XV PROVINCIAL OAK AND CHERRY WRITING DESK
by Potomack Company
Est: $300- $400
$6006 Bids
Antique Lap Desk Art Prints And Photos Estate Lot
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Antique Lap Desk Art Prints And Photos Estate Lot
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$175 Bids
Sligh French Style Writing Desk
Nov 07, 1:00 PM EDT
Sligh French Style Writing Desk
by Four Seasons Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $600
$603 Bids
Chippendale Style Mahogany Slant Front Desk
Oct 29, 5:00 PM EDT
Chippendale Style Mahogany Slant Front Desk
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $10- $1,000
$283 Bids
Antique Roll Top Desk
Nov 07, 10:00 AM EDT
Antique Roll Top Desk
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$253 Bids
Gucci, Italy: A Black Leather & Brass Desk Blotter
Nov 03, 6:00 PM AEDT
Gucci, Italy: A Black Leather & Brass Desk Blotter
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD602 Bids
BUREAU MAZARIN
Nov 02, 2:30 PM CET
BUREAU MAZARIN
by Accademia Fine Art
Est: €200- €400
€1901 Bid
RARE Vintage 1950's Brass Perpetual Rolling Desk Calendar, EC
Jan 15, 1:00 PM EST
RARE Vintage 1950's Brass Perpetual Rolling Desk Calendar, EC
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
A Collection of Desk Ephemera including a Diecast Spruce Goose Author Portrait Drink Coasters
Nov 13, 2:00 PM AEDT
A Collection of Desk Ephemera including a Diecast Spruce Goose Author Portrait Drink Coasters
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD201 Bid
Antique Gentleman's Pipe Smokers Desk Cabinet
Dec 03, 1:00 PM EST
Antique Gentleman's Pipe Smokers Desk Cabinet
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
Boulle writing desk
Oct 28, 8:00 PM WEST
Boulle writing desk
by Marques dos Santos
Est: €750- €1,000
€5001 Bid
Regence-Style Bronze-Mounted Kingwood Bureau
Nov 20, 11:00 AM CST
Regence-Style Bronze-Mounted Kingwood Bureau
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1,3001 Bid
MAHOGANY LEATHER TOP THREE DRAWER WRITING DESK
Nov 16, 11:00 AM EST
MAHOGANY LEATHER TOP THREE DRAWER WRITING DESK
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $500- $800
$3501 Bid
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LAP DESK ON STAND England, 19th Century Height 21”. Width 20”. Depth 10”.
Nov 05, 9:30 AM EDT
LAP DESK ON STAND England, 19th Century Height 21”. Width 20”. Depth 10”.
by Eldred's
Est: $250- $350
$1251 Bid
Vintage cast metal desk fan, 43cm in dia x 52cm H
Nov 02, 7:00 PM AEDT
Vintage cast metal desk fan, 43cm in dia x 52cm H
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD201 Bid
A Russian Desk Portfolio Silver And Enamel
Oct 30, 11:30 AM EDT
A Russian Desk Portfolio Silver And Enamel
by Joshua Kodner
Est: $6,000- $8,000
$2,0001 Bid
Miniature mahogany slant front desk, 19th c.
Oct 29, 9:00 AM EDT
Miniature mahogany slant front desk, 19th c.
by Pook & Pook, Inc.
Est: $140- $240
$701 Bid
Paolo Buffa (Italian 1903-1970) Bureau, circa 1940
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
Paolo Buffa (Italian 1903-1970) Bureau, circa 1940
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £2,000- £3,000
£1,0000 Bids
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Blanc Louis, Organisation du travail [...] neuvième édition... Paris: au bureau du Nouveau Monde, 1850.
Oct 29, 10:00 AM CEST
Blanc Louis, Organisation du travail [...] neuvième édition... Paris: au bureau du Nouveau Monde, 1850.
by Gonnelli Casa d'Aste
Est: €100- €200
€1000 Bids
FRENCH LAMINATE CHROME PEDESTAL DESK C.1970
Oct 27, 11:00 AM EDT
FRENCH LAMINATE CHROME PEDESTAL DESK C.1970
by Kamelot Auctions
Est: $400- $600
$4000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Desks - General


Kamelot Auctions

Kamelot Auctions

Regency Auction House

Regency Auction House

Lawsons

Lawsons

Eldred's

Eldred's