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Home | Dealers | Gardner, Richard Antiques | Walnut Kidney Shaped Pedestal Desk
Walnut Kidney Shaped Pedestal Desk
Catalog#: 035
Category: Furniture - Non-American
SubType: Bookcase
Origin: England-UK
Era: 19th Century
Height: 31 inches inches
Width: 52-3/4 inches inches
Depth: 26-1/4 inches inches
An exceptional 19th Century figured walnut kidney shaped pedestal desk attributed to 'Gillows of Lancaster.' The top with an inset tooled leather writing surface with a broad walnut border and brass gallery, above three frieze drawers, the right hand one concealing a mechanism allowing the top to swivel revealing secret compartments at each end, above two paneled doors enclosing four drawers each side, the reverse of the desk paneled in book-matched figured walnut and a central bookcase section fitted with adjustable shelves, all standing on a plinth base with recessed patented brass castors stamped with crown.

Circa 1845
Height: 31 inches (78.75 cm)
Width: 52-3/4 inches (134 cm)
Depth: 26-1/4 inches (66.75 cm)

Gillows 'Estimate Sketch Book 1840' shows designs and costings for a similar desk supplied to Furguson & Co., recorded in Kelleys London Commercial Directory 1822 as operating from 117 Oxford Street.

Two former apprentices at Gillows, James Furguson and Henry Whiteside, formed a partnership in London selling furniture from these premises in Oxford Street with the financial patronage of Leonard Redman or Redmayne. At present it is not known whether the firm operated purely as a retail outlet or also had workshops of their own but the Gillows archive notes numerous estimates and invoices for furniture supplied to 'Furguson, Whiteside and Redmayne' in the early decades of the 19th Century.

The most unusual, possibly unique swiveling top that opens to reveal a secret compartment in each bowed end could well have been a specific requirement of the client and as yet we have been unable to find any other example of such mechanism.

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