The antique davenport desk was first recorded in the George III period of 1790, in the records of the renowned cabinet maker Gillows of Lancaster and it states ‘Captain Davenport desk’. It was built and commissioned for Captain Davenport and was the first example of this type of small Mahogany writing desk, called by the captain’s name. During 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. Most antique davenports have four drawers that open at one side (Sometimes concealed by a cupboard door ) and has faux drawer fronts on the opposite side. These 19th Century desks are fitted with casters at the bottom so they can be moved around easily and the sloping lid will have a leather writing surface that lifts up on a hinge. The best examples have a ‘piano top’ whereby the top looks like the back of a piano, when pushed on, it opens up revealing lots of lovely compartments, usually built in a Burr Walnut. The Victorian davenport desk was more elaborately decorated with scrolled or turned supports that allow a recessed space for more leg room. Inlay, decorative brass, fretwork carvings and wood turned knobs was used. The antique davenport design was still in production in the Edwardian period and is a very popular piece to buy today. Please visit our antique desks section or have a look below at a few lovely examples we have available for sale.
Davenport for sale
Hi James Bureau is very nice, thanks for putting up with all my queries etc. We like it v much! Kind rgds Sarah
Hi James,The desk arrived today and it’s fabulous! Thanks, Sian
- 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.