Antique Davenport Desk

Antique Davenport Desk
The antique davenport desk was first recorded in the George III period of the 1790s, in the records of the renowned cabinet maker Gillows of Lancaster and it states ‘Captain Davenport desk’. It was first built and commissioned for Captain Davenport and this is the first example of this type of small writing desk, now called by the captain’s name.
During most of the late Georgian and Victorian eras, the davenport was mainly used by the Lady and would have of a small chest of drawers with a desk on top. The antique davenport desk changed very little in design over the many years it was in production and most antique davenports have four drawers that open at one side and have faux drawer fronts on the opposite side. Above the drawers there is sometimes a pull-out slide to hold papers and some examples have cupboards concealing drawers. Many antique davenports are fitted with casters at the bottom so they can be moved around easily.
The top sections usually have a desk with a sloping lid and a leather writing surface, with a lift up lid. Occasionally they come with a decorative brass gallery at the back. They usually have small drawers for storing writing equipment and ink wells. The best examples have a ‘piano top’ whereby the top looks like the back of a piano but when pushed on, it opens up revealing lots of lovely compartments.
The Victorian davenport desks are usually supported on elaborately scrolled or turned supports that allow a recessed space for more leg room.
Mahogany wood was the most popular used in construction but some very nice examples were made in rosewood or burr walnut and some of the best examples would have stringing inlaid lines of brass or box wood and with decorative brass drawer handles, brass galleries at the back and brass castors.
Some Victorian davenports had wood turned galleries or would be fretwork carved and would have turned wood knobs
The antique davenport design was still in production up to the late Edwardian times and is still a very popular piece to buy today.
If you are interested in buying an antique davenport, then visit our desks for sale section on our website as we get some beautiful examples in all woods and from all periods.
Here are some very nice examples that we have had in stock.

Victorian Figured Walnut Antique Davenport Desk.

walnut davenport

Dating from around 1870 in the Victorian period this antique Davenport desk is constructed from figured walnut. It has a raised shaped back above a moulded writing slope complete with central faux leather writing insert. The interior of the desk has two small drawers over a faux drawer, all having striking birch veneer fronts. Both sides of the desk are the same having four drawers with turned handles and later drawer linings, the only difference being the right side also has a smaller drawer at the top. The front of the desk has beautifully scrolled carved supports and while the whole desk sits on turned bun feet.

This item is now sold, please click here to see our current stock.

Unusual Rosewood Antique Victorian Davenport Desk.

Unique Rosewood William IV Antique Sliding Top Davenport

This antique Davenport desk dates from around 1850 and is quite unusual being constructed from rosewood. It has a beautifully turned gallery above a sloping front with green tooled leather writing insert. Beneath the writing slope can be found an interior made from a striking satinbirch and contains two small mahogany lined working drawers along with to faux drawers.
Down the left hand side of the desk there are four faux drawers whilst the right side has four mahogany lined working drawers with turned handles. There is also a small pen and ink drawer which pulls out and rests alongside the main working area. The front is supported by elegant barley twist legs while the main body of the desk rests on small castors. This unusual rosewood antique desk has a finished back so my be placed in the centre of a room if so desired and it has aged to a rich medium shade of rosewood.

This item is now sold, please click here to see our current stock.

Antique Mahogany Gillow Davenport

gillows davenport gillows davenport 2

Antique Mahogany Gillow Davenport This stunning antique Regency mahogany davenport / writing desk ca 1830 is in the manner of ‘Gillows, Lancaster’ and has a raised moulded back above a moulded writing slope with a green tooled leather writing insert. The lift up lid conceals a stationary compartment and the whole of the top section of the davenport slides forwards creating an overhang to sit under as a desk. The front and back have beautifully figured moulded panels, one side has faux drawers and the other side has a small hinged drawer above four mahogany lined drawers with turned knobs, key and working locks.

This item is now sold, please click here to see our current stock.

Victorian oak antique Davenport / writing desk

oak davenport 1 oak davenport
This quality Victorian oak antique Davenport / antique writing desk dates from ca. 1870 and has a shaped, curved lid and the interior has letter racks, inkwell holder and pen holder. The antique desk has a moulded fall front with rounded corners and the original tooled leather writing insert. The interior has one central drawer. The antique Davenport has four mahogany lined drawers with turned handles down one side and faux draws on the opposite side. The piece stands on beautifully turned bun feet with Brown porcelain castors and is a rich warm medium oak with a striking grain, good patina, is in very good condition and has been beautifully cleaned using a traditional form of wax finishing.

This item is now sold, please click here to see our current stock.

15 thoughts on “Antique Davenport Desk

    1. Hi
      Sorry this piece is now sold but we do get similar in stock, so keep an eye on our desk section of our website.
      Kind regards
      James

    1. Hi
      This has recently sold for £695. please keep checking our antique desks page for similar Davenports
      Kind regards
      James

    1. Hi
      Most will just open without any trouble but some have a secret button. Inside the fall front, there are usually two fake drawers. if you pull on one of the handles this can sometimes release the drawer, as it unlocks a spring.
      I hope this helps
      Kind regards
      James

  1. Were any davenport desk made of pine. I recently purchased a desk similar in style but it is made from pine and only has three drawers with brass handles down either side. It also came with a secretary type hutch that sits on top. It is not attached. Was told it was a reproduction piece from the 1900’s

  2. Hi I have just purchase a davenport desk and was wondering if you be able to help me work out what era it would be and a price it is valued

  3. Hi

    Can you tell me how the pop up section stays in place once the catch inside the draw has been release

    Kind regards

    Jacqui

  4. I would like to know what the Victorian oak antique Davenport / writing desk is worth as I have an identical one that I bought in Oxford in 1980/81.
    Thanks
    Vito

    1. Hi
      These can range in value massively dependant on the quality and condition but they usually sell for between £800 – £1500
      Thanks
      James

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