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English Dining Tables

Desks first appeared in England in the late 17th century and took the form of slope-front pieces that allowed the writing surface to be opened and closed. Kneehole desks were developed during the Queen Anne period (1702–1714) and consisted of small pieces often veneered in oak or walnut with drawers on either side of leg opening.

In the mid-18th century, the pedestal desk, today considered to be the prototypical executive-style desk, was popularized. Cabinetmakers like Thomas Chippendale, who designed furniture in mid-Georgian, English Rococo, and Neoclassical styles for wealthy clients, led the movement toward this type of desk.

The emergence of the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom during the later part of the 18th and early 19th century sparked a rise of the business class. With it, the demand for practical desks of all kinds for the office and home increased exponentially.

The desk has developed several modern forms. Heavy, double-sided partner’s desks to dominate workplaces, while streamlined desks that double as dressing tables in bedrooms and occasional pieces in sitting rooms are popular with homeowners.


Quick Facts

  • In 2014, a 19th-century English mahogany double-pedestal desk sold at Skinner for a mere $338
  • In May 2015 a walnut-veneered English partner's desk with a tooled leather top sold at Skinner for $3,998
  • A Regency period mahogany desk that belonged to the 1st Marquess of Anglesey, a general at the Battle of Waterloo, topped its £400,000 to £600,000 Christie's estimate in July 1993 and sold for an astonishing £1.76 million

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Sellers Who Sell English Dining Tables


Adam's

Adam's

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Thomaston Place Auction Galleries

Sheppards

Sheppards

Crescent City Auction Gallery

Crescent City Auction Gallery