19thC Painted Pine & Graffitied Clerk’s Desk c1870


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+44 (0)772 9213013


  • £795.00
  • €914 Euro
  • $1,112 US Dollar

United Kingdom

DC Member since 2013
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19thC Painted Pine & Graffitied Clerk’s Desk c1870

The large for its type, chocolate painted pine clerk’s desk hailing from mid-Victorian England, the whole having elegant ring turned slender legs to two frieze drawers with recessed brass pull handles under a hinged sloping writing surface with galleried back opening to reveal a vacant interior, the double inner lids being both chisel inscribed and ink graffitied with names and dates, the earliest of 1872 and latest of 1945, being untouched from its heavy use throughout the decades, the carcass with good patina to the original painted surfaces having been used in an educational or place of work setting.

Found in St Austell in Cornwall, this piece remains in a good untouched and original state, and fully unrestored, and has been simply waxed to protect her idiosyncrasies. The original finish is worn in some areas, as photographed, at the areas of heaviest use, as are the table edges though this is of course all desirable, and expected, all in the right places. The sloping lid is sturdy and the original handles remain.

The names we can decipher include;

D.Wills 1917-1922
D Dunn 1942 11-11-42
J.H.Williams 1872, left 1913, died RIP 22-3-35
M.E.H. 1930-32
C.R.P. 1922-1930 Died 17.6.1930
A.W.M. 10 Aug 1885 came left ????
T.J.W. 1945-
W.C. 1941-45
M.L. 1928-1930
P.A.T. 1943
J.McF 1943 26.8.43
A.W.M. 1885
O.J.W. 1935
D.W. 1917-1922
F.J.S. 1919
J.L. 1928
T.K. 1918-1919
L.G.D. 1922-1925
C.R.P. 1922-1930 RIP 17.6.30
W.B. Combenack 1930-1937
R.C.C. 1920-1935
E.C. 1922-1925
V.A. 1925-1928
R.C.T 1939
E.D. 1927-1930
L.M.Thomas 1932
Douglas Dash 1931-1935
Wm Bernard Combellack 1930-8

Seemingly the dates are particularly frequent during the two Great wars so this desk may have been part of the war effort in some way, shape or form. What is certain is that this table would have been part of the daily life in the same room for decades at which the user could either stand at or sit at on a high stool.

A decorative and useful piece of furniture with a rich backstory with its hidden surprise and one worthy of further research.


  • H: 128cm (50.5in)
  • W: 132cm (52in)
  • D: 64cm (25in)



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'Doe & Hope specialise in decorative, rare and unusual antiques from around the world with a particular interest in the atmosphere that surrounds an object, taking a cinematic approach in the presentation of our inventory. Our house style is probably best described as theatrical; being a concoction of old money, dramatic decorative, and faded gentility, with common themes of both humour and the macabre running through our inventory, that includes both academic and playful objects.

We are members of LAPADA and were included in Homes & Antiques '50 Best Antique Shops' in the UK for 2016. We have had a concession in the prestigious Liberty of London department store in 2015 and have also won the Antiques Young Gun of the Year award for 2014.

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