The Antique Bureau is a term used for a writing desk with a sloping fall-front and is one of the earliest form of writing furniture, first seen in the Mid 17th Century. It was a french design but copied by English Cabinet makers and they would use gate legs to support the fall fronts but by the 18th century the gate leg supports were replaced by sliding pull out loppers at each side and this was a much more practical design. The antique bureau comes with interesting features such as small drawers, pigeon holes, sliding bookends or bible wells to conceal important documents or jewellery. Until the mid 18th Century the bureau section was a free standing, but then it was combined with a chest of drawers making the more well known Georgian Bureau design. Mouldings on the fronts of the dust boards can be seen on the earlier versions but the Georgian examples have cock beading on the edges of the drawers with a hinged Fall front and were usually made from mahogany or oak. Earlier examples would have used more exotic veneers such as burr walnut with feather banding, string inlay or cross banding as decoration. Later Victorian and Edwardian Bureaus were mainly in Mahogany and highly inlaid with decorative floral designs. Have a look below at our lovely examples available for sale.
Bureaux for sale
Below are a few examples of previously sold antique bureau but if any particular style looks of interest please let us know as we do get many similar designs in stock and we can try to locate something similar.
Rare Small Georgian Mahogany Antique Bureau / Writing Desk. Dating from around 1770 in the Georgian period this antique mahogany bureau / writing desk has rare small proportions. It has a beautifully figured fall front which when opened reveals a very unusual interior with serpentine shaped oak lined drawers. There is a central cupboard door and several pigeon holes. The lower section has four graduating oak lined drawers with beautifully pierced brass handles and key escutcheons. It stands on shaped bracket feet and has unusually small proportions for a Georgian bureau courtesy of the Edwardians who most probably adapted and restored this piece to its current size and style.
Quality George III Oak Antique Bureau. Dating from around 1790 this George III antique oak bureau is a quality example of its type. It has a moulded fall front with key and working lock. Once opened it displays six small oak lined drawers with brass pull handles and six pigeon holes. It also has a small central cupboard door with key and working lock flanked by two unusual secret pull out slides with half columnar designed decorative fronts. The lower section of the bureau has four oak lined graduating cock beaded drawers with original brass swan neck handles and brass key escutcheons. The piece stands on shaped bracket feet, still retains the original back boards and oozes an overall sense of quality being constructed from the finest oak timbers.
Large Mahogany Georgian Antique Bureau. This antique mahogany bureau dates from the Georgian period, circa 1790, and has relatively large proportions. It consists of a moulded fall front which when opened reveals a green baize writing insert, several pigeon holes and small oak lined drawers with brass handles. In the centre can be found a small cupboard door which hides another small drawer along with two secret compartments! The lower section has a two over three drawer configuration, all displaying cock beading and the original brass swan neck handles. The bureau stands on shaped bracket feet, has later back boards and is full of charm and character as expected in a piece of this age.
George III Mahogany Antique Bureau dated October 5th 1778, the bureau has a figured fall front with key and working lock and the interior has 20 small oak lined drawers and two pigeon holes. The lower section has four graduating oak lined drawers with cock beaded edges and quality brass swan neck handles.
Antique Georgian Mahogany Bureau with Secret Compartments! This very handsome antique bureau dates from around 1800 in the Georgian period, is constructed from mahogany and has the added benefit of ever so secret compartments! It has a moulded fall front with key and working lock which when opened reveals several small drawers and pigeon holes. There is also a central cupboard, again with a key and working lock, which contains a hidden button that allows access to the secret compartments. The lower section has four graduating cock beaded drawers with later brass handles and the whole piece stands on shaped bracket feet. This delightful Georgian bureau is full of the charm and character one would expect in a piece of its age. It has also benefitted from some small old repairs during its lifetime which are consistent with age and use.
Fine Antique Country Georgian Oak Bureau, Dating from around 1760 in the Georgian period with a distinct charm about it. It has a beautifully figured fall front that when opened reveals an interior that contains a central cupboard door and four small drawers in an unusual curved figuration along with several pigeon holes. The lower section has two over three graduating cock beaded drawers with oval brass handles. The antique bureau stands on a shaped apron with bracket feet and oozes a sense of charm and character, not surprising since it is over 250 years old!
Antique Georgian Mahogany Bureau with Beautifully Fitted Interior. This antique mahogany bureau dates from around 1800 in the Georgian period and has a beautifully fitted interior. The stunningly figured moulded fall front still has a key and working lock and once opened it reveals a splendidly fitted interior. With eight small oak lined drawers with brass handles, eight beautifully shaped pigeon holes and a central elegantly inlaid cupboard door the finish of the whole interior oozes a sense of luxuriousness, not obvious from the clean simple lines of the exterior of the piece.
Antique Edwardian Satinwood Small & Elegant Bureau, circa 1910, and has small, elegant proportions. It has a moulded fall front which when opened reveals an immaculate interior for a piece over 100 years old. It contains a green, faux leather writing insert, a central cupboard door with key and working lock, two small mahogany lined drawers, with original handles, and several pigeon holes. The lower section has three graduating mahogany lined drawers with original brass handles and sits proudly on stylish cabriole legs. With its original back boards and beautiful cross banding in rosewood with boxwood and ebony string inlay, this very fine small antique bureau has been very well cared for over its lifetime and is in pristine condition for its age.
Quality Antique Georgian Mahogany Bureau with Rococo Styling, circa 1770, is of a lovely quality further enhanced by the Rococo styled brassware. It has a wonderfully figured fall front, with Rococo brass key escutcheon, which when opened reveals an interior that contains four small drawers and several pigeon holes. The lower section has four graduating oak lined, cock beaded drawers with decorative Rococo brass key escutcheons and swan neck handles.
Unusual Georgian Cherrywood Antique Bureau. It has a moulded fall front which when opened reveals an interior containing a central cupboard door, two secret pull out slides, four small drawers and several pigeon holes. This cherrywood antique bureau is a lovely warm golden colour with a striking grain, good patina, is in very good condition and has been beautifully cleaned using a traditional form of wax finishing.
Antique Victorian Inlaid Walnut Bureau
Country Georgian Oak Antique Bureau. Dating from around 1770 this country oak Georgian bureau is full of the charm and character from age and use. It is constructed from solid oak with a moulded fall front which when opened reveals an interior containing six small oak lined drawers and several pigeon holes. The base consists of four graduating cock beaded drawers with brass swan neck handles along with decorative brass key escutcheons. It stands on shaped bracket feet, is full of the charm and character expected in a true antique from this period and has aged to a lovely medium dark shade of oak.
- Tony Purell,
I have my writing desk ... Victorian circa 1890 walnut with red leather insert. AMAZING though i would have loved the keys to lock the drawers. delivered in perfect condition (well for 130 years old perfect). I only ask if Driscolls can fine me a small walnut chest of drawers to go with it! 5 or 10 stars all the way for me. Thank you so much.
Hi James,The desk arrived today and it’s fabulous! Thanks, Sian
- Antique bureau to London,
Dear James, Just to confirm that I received my Bureau today, and that I’m very pleased with it. Can I also ask you to pass on my grateful thanks to your two delivery men. They did a fantastic job in getting the Bureau up onto the first floor for me. Not only did they cope with the difficult stairs, but they also had an extremely hard time in getting the Bureau up and over the top banister rail. A job very well done. Thank you.