Description & Technical information

Note: The desk retains the original ornate brass handles. The concealed castors to the pedestals are replacements and there are alterations to the frieze drawer formation. The leather insert is of later date. 
The similarities between this desk and the documented pedestal desk at Dumfries House, Ayrshire, Scotland, are compelling and leave little doubt about the maker.
The design of the desk is based on plate LIV of the first edition of Thomas Chippendale’s The Gentleman and Cabinet-maker’s Director. As one would expect, only superior mahogany has been used, for both the veneer and the solid parts, and the fine brass handles are of the traditional type often used by the firm. 
As with the Dumfries desk, the frieze originally had working drawers at the sides only, with dummy drawers to the front and back. These side drawers, one containing a rising reading rest and the other, shorter one a plain drawer, were at some stage turned into dummies and working drawers were fitted to the front of the desk only. The original drawer fronts were all retained.
At this stage, even if the side drawers were reinstated, the drawer formation would no longer be original. For this reason it was decided to retain the current, more practical drawer arrangement.

Date:  circa 1765
Period:  George III
Origin:  English
Medium: Mahogany
Dimensions: 80 x 157 x 98 cm (31¹/₂ x 61³/₄ x 38⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: Private collection, New York, USA.
Literature: Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet-maker’s Director, 1754, pl. LIV.
Christie’s, ‘Dumfries House - A Chippendale Commission’, sale catalogue, 12 - 13 July 2007, vol. 1, pp. 124 - 9, lot 30.
Ronald Phillips Ltd., ‘The Legacy of Thomas Chippendale’, catalogue, 2018, pp. 104 - 11.
Categories: Furniture