17 Aug 2017
June 19, 2012 - Filed under: Desks — Mandy

Antique pedestal desks are usually free standing, with a rectangular working surface, upon two pedestals or small cabinets of drawers, supported on plinth bases. There is usually a large central drawer above the knees of the user. Sometimes in the 19th Century a “modesty panel” was put between the pedestals to hide the legs or knees of the user. Smaller and older pedestal desks with modesty panels were sometimes called knee hole desks and were usually placed against a wall.

From the mid 18th Century onwards pedestal desks had inset leather or baize writing surfaces, within a cross banded border. If the desk top were just wood, it may of had a pull out lined writing drawer.

The pedestal desk appeared in England in the 18th Century but became popular in the 19th and 20th, overtaking the variants of the secretary desk and the writing table in sheer numbers. When a pedestal desk is double in size to form a nearly square working surface, and drawers are put on both sides to accommodate two users at the same time, it becomes a partners desks. Thomas Chippendale gave designs for such tables, which were generally used in libraries.

Examples of a Victorian Mahogany pedestal desk and a Victorian ladies writing desk with a pull out writing surface

http://www.christiandaviesantiques.co.uk/CurrentStock/tabid/124/AntiqueType/ViewType/AntiqueTypeID/1/Antique-Desks.aspx

 

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