The Secretaire is the meaning for an enclosed writing desk, usually having an upper cabinet section of a piece of antique furniture. This was first introduced in the late Georgian eras by furniture designers like Hepplewhite and Chippendale. They can come in lots of different forms of furniture from the secreaire chest, cabinets to larger bookcases. The antique secretaire bookcase was the ideal solution for the Victorian gentleman as he was able to do his work with all his resources within reach, having a large bookcase above. The Antique Secretaire Desk was similar to the bureau but more square in shape on a chest of drawers, with a deep pull out top drawer that folded down to reveal stationary compartments and a writing surface.
Antique Chest of Drawers for sale
Recently Sold Antiques
Below are previously sold examples and if any look of interest please email us to join our mailing list as we do get similar pieces for sale and this will update you with our latest acquisitions.
Inlaid Georgian Antique Secretaire Chest of Drawers. This beautiful Inlaid Georgian Antique Secretaire Chest of Drawers dates from the Georgian period, circa 1810. It has a rectangular top with decorative inlay banding above a deep fine inlaid frieze. The top secretaire drawer has the original brass hinge mechanism, key and working lock. The interior contains a green baize writing surface, several pigeon holes and central cupboard door with key and working lock. The chest has two further deep drawers with intricate brass handles and working locks. The piece as a whole stands on bracket feet and is finished with a shaped apron. It is a lovely rich shade of mahogany with a striking grain
Superb Quality Regency Antique Mahogany Secretaire Chest. This very unusual antique secretaire chest of drawers is of superb quality, made from mahogany and dates from the Regency period, circa 1820. It has a beautifully figured rectangular moulded top above a cross banded frieze with satinwood and boxwood string inlay. The four graduating drawers are cock beaded, have the original brass handles, the lower three are partially oak lined and still retain the original blue lining paper. The top drawer is, unusually, a slim line secretaire drawer with the original brass hinge mechanism to the front. It contains four flamed mahogany fronted small drawers with their original handles, boxwood half beaded edges and yew wood drawer linings. It also contains three compartments and a green baize writing insert. The piece as a whole stands on splayed bracket feet and still retains its original back boards. The quality of timbers used and level of skills apparent in its construction mean this beautiful piece can only have been made by a true craftsman.
Huge Victorian Mahogany Shop / Apothecary Bookcase.
This Spectacular Victorian Mahogany Shop / Apothecary Bookcase dates from circa, 1870, Back in the day pharmacists at the neighbourhood apothecary crammed their lotions and potions in cabinets that took full advantage of every nook and cranny available. This fantastic bookcase has a moulded cornice above two large glazed doors with the lovely original glass with key in working lock. The interior has three adjustable shelves. The upper section has shaped brackets with open section which was most probably used for serving and a wonderful secretaire drawer with flamed mahogany central panels and beautifully turned handles. The interior has a green baize surface and several pigeon holes. This spectacular bookcase has two lower beautifully figured cupboard doors with a fixed left hand interior shelf and two deep drawers with flush brass handles on the right hand interior. The cupboard doors also benefit from the key with working lock, stands majestically on a plain plinth and has been constructed from the finest mahogany timbers. This huge bookcase splits into two sections aiding transportation.
Flamed Mahogany Antique Secretaire Chest – in the Biedermeier style. This antique continental secrétaire à abattant (or drop leaf desk) dates from around 1870 is made from beautiful flamed mahogany and is in the style of the Biedermeier period. It has a shaped stepped moulded cornice above a striking flame mahogany front with four oak lined drawers and central drop leaf secretaire front. The interior has a pull out writing surface with original leather writing insert, several small drawers with brass handles and a central cupboard door. The exterior has canted corners with decorative carved corbels with elegant rose and leaf detailing. The antique desk stands on cabriole front legs and squared back legs and has minor old repairs consistent with age and use. It is a medium mahogany with a striking grain, good patina, is in very good condition and has been beautifully cleaned using a traditional form of wax finishing.
Georgian Mahogany Antique Desk with Secretaire Drawer.
Dating from around 1770 in the Georgian period this mahogany antique desk has a secretaire drawer providing more work surface than first impressions might make you believe. It has a beautifully figured moulded top with shaped rounded corners above an unusual secretaire drawer. When opened with the key and working lock it reveals three mahogany lined drawers and five pigeon holes. Each pedestal has three graduating oak lined drawers with pierced brass handles. There is a central cupboard door with brass ‘H’ hinges behind which sits a single removable shelf. Just above the knee hole and below the secretaire drawer is a secret shallow drawer, for all those small private possessions! The antique desk sits on shaped bracket feet and still owns its original back boards. At some point in its life it has been fully restored and repolished so it is in very good condition for its age.
Magnificent Regency Oak Secretaire Cupboard – Press
This Magnificent Regency Oak Secretaire Cupboard – Press dates from around 1830 has a paper label on the inside of the door, placed at a similar (or the same) time of its construction.
‘ North Riding of Yorkshire – These are to certify that George … of Hunton, Gentleman served upon the grand jury at the general quarter sessions of peace, Holden at Northallerton in the said riding. The day of .. April in the year of our Lord 1826 given under my hand the said sessions, the day and year aforesaid, (signed) Deputy Clerk of the Piece.’
This quality antique oak cupboard has a canted cornice above two beautifully figured doors with keys and working locks. Each interior has two larger and one small fixed shelf. The lower section has a large top drawer, that pulls out and folds down using the original brass mechanism. The interior has a green baize writing surface, several small drawers and pigeon holes. The cupboard has three lower deep drawers with cock beading and the original walnut turned handles. It stands on four turned bun feet and splits into two section for ease of removal. This outstanding piece of antique furniture is a rich light golden oak with a striking grain, good patina, is in very good condition and has been beautifully cleaned using a traditional form of wax finishing.
Unusual, Continental, Figured Walnut Antique Secretaire / Abattant.
This late 19th Century (circa 1890) antique abattant is made from fabulously figured walnut. The moulded top sits over an oak lined frieze drawer above a fall front with key and working lock. Enclosed can be found the original green leather writing surface and an arrangement of small mahogany lined drawers with very attractive flamed mahogany fronts. All have the original turned handles and two have a key with working locks. The whole arrangement is framed by strikingly figured walnut. The lower section has two cupboard doors, the interior of which has a single removable shelf. The piece as a whole sits on a plain plinth with castors while the design is clearly a precursor to the Art Deco movement. The frontage has been crafted with mirrored figured walnut panels which have aged to a wonderful golden shade. It has a striking grain, good patina, is in very good condition and has been beautifully cleaned using a traditional form of wax finishing.
Most recently belonging to the late Patrick Oliver, this abattant was passed through his family having been bequeathed to his ancestor William Thompson Oliver, deputy editor, art correspondent and literary editor of the Yorkshire Post during the fifties and sixties. It had been bequeathed to him by an Edward Musgrave, once Director of Leeds City Art Galleries and the first institution outside London to acquire a work of art by Francis Bacon. Edward had apparently acquired this abattant from a German artist (name unknown).
Large Victorian Mahogany Antique Secretaire Bookcase
Dating from around 1860 in the Victorian period this grand mahogany bookcase comes complete with a secretaire drawer. It has a moulded cornice above two glazed doors with key and working lock. The interior benefits from three replacement adjustable shelves. The lower section has a rectangular top above a deep secretaire drawer with moulded edges and original turned handles. The drawer opens, the front folding down, to reveal an interior displaying a tooled leather writing insert, six birds eye maple drawer fronts with small turned handles and several pigeon holes. The base has two beautifully figured cupboard doors with arched mouldings and key with working lock, these are flanked by elegantly scrolled carved corbels.
William IV Mahogany Antique Secretaire Bookcase
Dating from around 1835 during the William IV period this delightful secretaire bookcase is made from mahogany. A tapered cornice sits over two astragal glazed doors which have a brass clash mould and key with working lock. The interior of the display contains three adjustable shelves. The lower section has a rectangular moulded top above a deep secretaire drawer which contains seven maple fronted drawers, several pigeon holes and a green baize writing surface. At the base can be found a cupboard with beautifully figured doors, again with a working lock. The interior contains a single adjustable shelf. The whole piece is heavily influenced by the Gillows style, especially so with the design of the lobed feet on which it stands. It also displays the charm and character of a true antique with minor old repairs none of which detract from it being a very beautiful piece of furniture. It splits into two sections for ease of removal and the mahogany is a wonderful warm medium shade with a striking grain, good patina, is in very good condition and has been beautifully cleaned using a traditional form of wax finishing.
Hello James – just to let you know we are absolutely delighted with the chest of drawers. In fact, we could not be more pleased. Thank you. (In addition, your couriers were bang on time and very polite) many thanks and best regards Jon
Dear James Driscoll,The chest of drawers arrived Saturday morning – at 6.30 a.m.! It’s perfect, I’m delighted with it, thank you. I will definitely keep an eye on your website.Margaret
- Philip and Luisa (Melbourne, Australia),
Hi James,Just a short email to say that the Chest of Drawers arrived safely today. My wife and I are very happy with the piece – better than expected! Thank you for your professional handling of the transaction. Will look out on your website for our future purchases. Regards, Philip and Luisa (Melbourne, Australia)