The Secretaire is the meaning for an enclosed writing desk within a folding front. This would either be within a chest or have an upper cabinet section on a piece of antique furniture. The antique Secretaire was first introduced in the late 18th Century Georgian period by furniture designers like Hepplewhite and Chippendale. They can come in lots of different forms of furniture from the secreaire chest, Abattant, cabinets to larger bookcases. The antique secretaire bookcase was the ideal solution for the 19th Century 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 leather writing surface. The folding Secretaire drawer will have a little brass button to press and this released the hinged drawer to fall open. These pieces were built for the wealthy so constructed using high quality woods like figured Walnut or Mahogany with lovely inlay or brass decoration. If you are interested in buying a secretaire please visit our desks or bookcases categories as we do get some beautiful pieces in stock or see a few examples below.