An Interesting 19thC Painted Pine & Graffitied Clerk’s Desk c.1870


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Object Description

The large for its type, chocolate painted pine clerk’s desk hailing from mid-Victorian England, the whole having elegant ring turned slender legs to two frieze drawers with recessed brass pull handles under a hinged sloping writing surface with galleried back opening to reveal a vacant interior, the double inner lids being both chisel inscribed and ink graffitied with names and dates, the earliest of 1872 and latest of 1945, being untouched from its heavy use throughout the decades, the carcass with good patina to the original painted surfaces having been used in an educational or place of work setting.

Object History


Object Literature

The names we can decipher include;

D.Wills 1917-1922
D Dunn 1942 11-11-42
J.H.Williams 1872, left 1913, died RIP 22-3-35
M.E.H. 1930-32
C.R.P. 1922-1930 Died 17.6.1930
A.W.M. 10 Aug 1885 came left ????
T.J.W. 1945-
W.C. 1941-45
M.L. 1928-1930
P.A.T. 1943
J.McF 1943 26.8.43
A.W.M. 1885
O.J.W. 1935
D.W. 1917-1922
F.J.S. 1919
J.L. 1928
T.K. 1918-1919
L.G.D. 1922-1925
C.R.P. 1922-1930 RIP 17.6.30
W.B. Combenack 1930-1937
R.C.C. 1920-1935
E.C. 1922-1925
V.A. 1925-1928
R.C.T 1939
E.D. 1927-1930
L.M.Thomas 1932
Douglas Dash 1931-1935
Wm Bernard Combellack 1930-8

Seemingly the dates are particularly frequent during the two Great wars so this desk may have been part of the war effort in some way, shape or form. What is certain is that this table would have been part of the daily life in the same room for decades at which the user could either stand at or sit at on a high stool.

A decorative and useful piece of furniture with a rich backstory with its hidden surprise and one worthy of further research.

Object Condition

Found in St Austell in Cornwall, this piece remains in a good untouched and original state, and fully unrestored, and has been simply waxed to protect her idiosyncrasies. The original finish is worn in some areas, as photographed, at the areas of heaviest use, as are the table edges though this is of course all desirable, and expected, all in the right places. The sloping lid is sturdy and the original handles remain.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1767 640995
+44 (0)7729 213013

Dealer Location

The Onion Barn
Shoe Cottage
15 High Street
MK44 3NL

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