Collecting antique writing desks

Collecting antique writing desks might be an enjoyable and rewarding pastime. But it’s vital to understand what you’re getting into, as not all writing desks are made equally, and some are more valuable than others. Here’s a rundown of some of the most sought-after antique writing desks, as well as their value.

The desks, crafted in the 18th and 19th centuries, are the most valuable. 

These desks are made out of expensive woods like mahogany or cherry, and they may be quite elaborate. Those produced for royalty or other high-ranking individuals are among the most desirable examples.

Antique desks from the 18th and 19th centuries are highly valued because of their great value. A basic desk from this period might cost hundreds of dollars, while a more complex example may sell for tens of thousands of dollars. If you want to add an antique desk to your collection, prepare to spend a lot of money.

Less expensive antique desks may be found at flea markets and garage sales. These desks might not be as valuable as their more expensive counterparts, but they can still be worth collecting. 

Types of antique desks to look out for are.

-Secretary desks: Secretary desks are popular among collectors and can be valuable. These desks have a hinged top, that opens up to reveal a hidden storage area. They were originally designed for secretaries, who needed a compact desk that could store all their paperwork.

-Rolltop desks: Rolltop desks, such as the davenport, are another popular type of antique desk, and they can be valuable as well. These desks have a large rolltop that opens, revealing a hidden work area. Rolltop desks were designed for businessmen who needed a place to store their paperwork and keep their secrets safe.

-Library desks: Library desks were for use in a library. They are typically quite large, and they often have lots of shelves and drawers for storing books and other materials. Library desks can be worth a bit of money, especially when made from high-quality materials like mahogany or cherry.

The most popular desk for collectors is the Davenport Desk.

What is a davenport desk?

The davenport desk was first introduced in the George III period by the cabinet maker Gillows of Lancaster. A davenport, in simple terms, is a writing desk that, to this day, looks great and is commonly used in offices and home offices.

The sloping desktop is hinged and opens to provide more space for your project. At the side, there are drawers that open, usually four. These drawers are often concealed with a cupboard door. At the bottom, casters allow you to move the desk about with ease.

The desk’s legs are typically highly carved, somewhat exaggerated, thick cabriole legs, but not always as they’ve had a variety of different leg designs over the years.

The design, at the top, can resemble an antique school desk, while the bottom is a modern school desk turned on its side. The presence of the two legs in front completes the unique davenport appearance.

During the nineteenth century, this desk form was very fashionable, and there have been numerous reproductions over the years.

The Davenport chair should not be confused with the Davenport sofa, which is often a contemporary style of upholstered sofa that includes both a bed and sofa. It’s an antique form of upholstered sofa based on the Boston A. H. Davenport and Company’s design from the beginning of the 20th century in

It is thought that these desks are named after a British military officer named Captain Davenport, who thought of the design, although this theory has yet to be proven. 

Either way, the Davenport writing desk is an iconic piece of furniture that, to this day, looks stylish and can bring life to any room in the home.

Sheraton was a famous maker of desks.

Sheraton was a maker of antique desks in the 19th century. His desks are characterized, by their simple design, and high-quality materials.

How do I know if my desk is antique?

There are a few things you can look for to help you determine if your desk is an antique.

-Check the age: One of the easiest ways to determine if a desk is an antique is to check its age. Antique desks are typically at least 100 years old.

-Check the materials: Another way to determine if a desk is an antique is to check the materials. Antique desks are made from high-quality materials, like mahogany, cherry, or oak.

-Check the design: Another thing to look for when determining if a desk is an antique is its design. Antique desks often have unique designs that are no longer being used today.

-Check for markings: Many antique desks are marked with the name of the maker or the year it was made. This can help determine if a desk is an antique.

-Ask an expert: If you’re still not sure whether or not your desk is antique, you can always ask an expert for help. Antique dealers or auctioneers can often help you determine the age and value of an antique desk.

Tip for buying antique desks.

-Be patient: If you’re looking to buy an antique desk, be prepared to be patient. It can often be difficult to find the perfect desk, and it may take some time to find one that fits your budget and needs.

-Do your research: Before you start shopping for an antique desk, be sure to do your research. Knowing the different types of antique desks and their prices will help you make a more informed purchase.

-Shop around: Don’t just buy the first antique desk you find. Shop around to get the best price and find the desk that’s perfect for you.

Antique desks can be a valuable investment. And knowing the different types and their prices will help you the best deal possible.

Popular woods.

Mahogany: Mahogany is a type of wood often used in antique desks. It is a hardwood that is known for its beautiful grain and color.

Cherry: Cherry is also a popular wood for antique desks. It is hardwood that has a reddish hue and a smooth texture.

Oak: Oak is a strong and durable wood, often used in antique furniture. It has a light color and a rustic texture.

Pine: Pine is softwood used in inexpensive furniture. It has a light color and a knotty texture. So if you come across a desk made out of pine, think twice before buying as it will almost certainly be a copy.

Common finishes

-Varnish: Varnish is a type of finish used on antique furniture. It is a clear finish that helps protect the wood from damage.

-Shellac: Shellac is another type of finish used on antique furniture. It is a transparent finish that gives the wood a glossy appearance.

-Lacquer: Lacquer was used on high-end furniture. It is a glossy finish that gives the wood a deep color.

-Stain: A type of finish used on wooden furniture. It is often colored and used to highlight the natural grain, of the wood.

-Paint: Paint is a type of finish that alters the color of the wood. Be wary of any old furniture that’s painted as it’s a way of covering up wear and tear and damage.

When buying an antique desk, be sure to take into account the following factors:

  • -The age of the desk
  • -The type of wood 
  • -The type of finish the desk has
  • -The condition of the desk
  • -The price of the desk

By taking these factors into account, you can be sure to make a wise purchase.

Thanks for reading.

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