The followers of my WeirdWood ramblings may already be aware of my liking for writing bureaus and similar functional furniture and the more avid readers among you may even be aware of my particular fetish for furniture and cabinets with many little draws and secret cubby holes but when I came across this gem combining both passions I was in my element.
American Renaissance Revival, W.S. Wooton's Patent Desk, Extra Grade Model, the well carved walnut case paneled with contrasting burled walnut, and ebonized trim, gilt brass hardware, letter slot and makers plaques, and featuring a document compartment concealed as trim, birds-eye maple on the elaborately fitted interior set with 36 wood drawers, 20 storage slots, fall front writing surface with ornate iron supports opening to further fitting, circa 1874, by the Wooton Desk Manufacturing Company, Indianapolis, 74"h, 45"w, 32"d
As if the exterior of this piece was not stunning enough ...... take a look on the inside.
This sort of desk was produced by William Wooton from 1870 through 1884 ~ it was called a "secretary desk" and its function was to organize any sort of office paperwork. These desks were expensive at the time (and now!) and only the wealthy could afford such a piece of furniture. The craftsmanship and details on these pieces is just amazing.
The front of the cabinets were fitted with brass letter boxes so other office staff could post documents when the cabinet was locked.
It's interesting that these pieces of furniture were advertised as being the "King of Desks", I should image with this degree of workmanship the makers had the market to themselves.
Another of the advertising slogans used for the Wooton's Patent Desk was: "A place for everything & everything in its place" and there are enough 'places' to choose from!
Each cabinet was fitted with the makers plaque.
A book about Wooton Desks is available from Amazon.com with a very 'busy' looking example on the front cover.
The example of the desk featured here was found on www.liveauctioneers.com with a starting price of $ 15,000 dollars so I guess I will just have to carry on dreaming :-(