Stock List Notes
The Dorking Desk
Shop stock list concentrates on all the main types of flat top writing
desks. This includes Pedestal, Partners and Knee-Hole desks as well as
Our stock list
is divided into large, medium and small. Large (L) is 65 inches and above,
medium (M) is 50 - 65 inches and small (S) is under 50 inches. Sizes are approximate
and are in inches. If you need to convert this to metric please multiply by
Whilst oak, mahogany and walnut are the more common there can often be a wide
variation in the appearance of these woods depending on their age, the cut
of the log and the amount of polish, grime and patination that has built up
over the years.
Oak can be quarter
or radial cut which will ether show the 'quick silver' markings or will have
a straighter grain. Pollard or burr oak is often difficult to distinguish
from burr elm or walnut.
Walnut can be
burr or curl in veneer. Solid straight grain is often mistaken for mahogany.
be Spanish or Cuban and some special desks have feathered, rippled or 'plum
pudding' grain which can greatly enhance their appearance and effect the cost.
The age of desks is always approximate. The reason for this is that after
the death of a monarch styles tended to change, but some makers in different
parts of the country were slower to adapt to new fashions and, for example,
they might continue making Georgian and Regency styles well into the Victorian
period. As well as this there have always been times of revival when earlier
designs were copied or adjusted. In the 20th Century, apart from the Edwardian
period, styles such as Arts and Craft, Art Decko and Art Nouveau fluctuated
in popularity and strengths. However, it was perhaps the demands of the
war years that dictated the function of a desk being predominantly that
of utility. For this reason the 20th Century has been divided into early,
mid and late. Early being pre 1930, mid being the 30's through to the
60's and the late 20th Century being 1970 onwards.
Space for detail is very limited but at The Dorking Desk Shop we always try
to have the better examples in stock. Some will have features such as makers
stamps, owners provenance or be a rare or unique example of a particular style.
All of these factors can dramatically effect cost but we hope that these items
would always prove to be the best value and most widely admired.
This Stock List of flat top desks can be further divided into four main types...
Table - can
be leather or solid top with or without drawers and can sometimes be adjustable
for height or slope.
is the type of desk that comes in three or more sections. The two pedestals
with cupboards or drawers support a top, usually with further drawers,
that fits on top.
this type of desk is made all in 1 piece and doesn't separate. The enclosed
'knee-hole' space can be open or enclosed with a cupboard door.
This type describes a desk that originally was used by two people as it
has cupboards and/or drawers to both sides. Nowadays they are often used
singularly in the centre of a room where the more friendly view of cupboards
and drawers at the back welcomes the visitor and gives alternative working
and storage possibilities.
- describes a desk that might only be partly fitted to the reverse, maybe
just having working cupboards sometimes with dummy drawers over.
Dummy Partners -
describes a desk that isn't a Partners but looks like it has working cupboards
and drawers. Sometimes a good quality desk that isn't wide enough for two
people to use but requires a better show side.
THE STAR CODE
A star against a desk means:
* The desk has
unusual or rare features
** As above but the desk also has the makers stamp and/or detailed provenance.
If a desk has
(w.a.r.) it means that the desk is being sold 'with alterations and repairs'.
However, if a desk does not have (w.a.r.) it does not necessarily mean
that the desk will be in completely original condition. Most desks will
have had some restoration or changes over the years and many will have
had at least one of the following; a replaced leather, different locks
or keys and sometimes changes to the castors and handles. If a desk requires
restoration we will endeavour to restore it to its best working condition
whilst retaining the original features and patination.