An early 20th century exhibition quality satinwood inlaid Carlton House desk in the Classical form of superb patina, attributed to Edwards & Roberts - ADDITIONAL IMAGES CAN BE VIEWED BELOW:
The desk is completely veneered with finely figured satinwood with each panel, drawer and leg etc consisting of satinwood veneer, mahogany & boxwood stringing with a banding of goncalo alves and superb exotic wood marquetry and engraved inlaid decoration. The satinwood veneer is of superb patina, having the appearance of an 18th century piece of satinwood.
The desk consists of three panels to the top, each inlaid with classical urns and foliate scrolls with six cedar lined drawers below. The drawers have a central scallop shell inlaid design with foliate scrolls (replicated on all drawers) and fine quality brass handles and all drawers having the original keys.
To each side of the drawers are curved cupboards with curved doors each with finely inlaid urn decoration and pardalokampos (leopard head with fish tail), these sections carry round to downswept hinged lids again with scrolling flower & foliage designs, each lid concealing letter rack compartments.
Each of these compartments has a small drawer underneath again inlaid with the same scallop shell and foliate scroll design with fine quality brass handles.
The writing surface has a central dark green tooled leather panel with inlaid decoration of baskets of flowers tied with ribbons to each side .
Below this is a moulded edge leading down to three further drawers, these being mahogany lined and replicating the same inlaid decoration of shells and scrolls and fine quality brass handles.
The top of the legs has an inlaid design of flowers and ribbons leading down to the elegant square tapered legs, all sides being inlaid with flower and foliage designs and terminating on brass castors.
The back and sides consists of three panels, the back having an inlaid design of a flaming classical urn with dolphin handles and foliate scrolls and the sides having a design of smaller urns and foliate scrolls.
This leads down to a frieze with central scallop shell, floral and foliate scroll inlaid design.
This desk is in excellent condition, of superb quality and can go straight into a home, library or office.
We have attributed this desk to Edwards & Roberts, although this piece does not bear their stamp it is typical of the quality and designs that they were producing in this period, specialising particularly in superb cabinetwork, marquetry and inlay.
The Carlton House Desk probably originated from a desk made in the 18th century for the Prince of Wales by the Royal cabinetmaker, John Kerr for the Prince's London residence, Carlton House.
A very similar desk designed by George Hepplewhite featured in 'The Cabinetmakers London book of prices' and also Thomas Sheraton's 'The Cabinetmakers & upholsterers drawing book' but it was Gillows that first used the term 'Carlton House table' in 1796 when they made one to be sold in London.
These desks or writing tables are renowned for being of elegant form and could equally be used as a desk, writing table or even a dressing table.
Height: 39.75'' / 101cm
Width: 48'' / 122cm
Depth: 25'' / 63.5cm
Height: 30.5'' / 77.5cm (to writing surface)
Height: 23.5'' / 59.5cm (floor to bottom rail)