Antique Victorian Burr Walnut Davenport Desk C.1870

Antique Victorian Burr Walnut Davenport Desk C.1870


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About this item

This is a gorgeous antique Victorian Davenport desk which is crafted from beautiful burr walnut, circa 1870 in date.

The desk has a hinged top at the rear which lifts up to reveal a divided interior with various divisions for ink, pens, paper, envelopes and letters.

The hinged writing fall has an inset burgundy gilt tooled leather enclosing a satin walnut interior with two small drawers.

The front is supported by a pair of beautiful decorative carved solid walnut cabriole legs and it is raised on it's original bun feet with recessed brass castors.

There are four useful drawers on one side and faux drawers on the other, making it not just a symbol of refinement but a practical furnishing as well. The desk is equipped with working locks and the original keys.

It has been wonderfully made by a master craftsman, the quality of the work is breathtaking, the burr walnut is of the highest quality and it is finished on all sides so that it can stand freely in the middle of a room, making it extremely versatile.


In really excellent original condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 85 x Width 56 x Depth 56

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 9 inches x Width 1 foot, 10 inches x Depth 1 foot, 10 inches

Davenport Desk - (sometimes originally known as a Devonport desk) is a small desk with an inclined lifting desktop attached with hinges to the back of the body.

Lifting the desktop accesses a large compartment with storage space for paper and other writing implements, and smaller spaces in the forms of small drawers and pigeonholes. The Davenport has drawers on one of its sides, which are sometimes concealed by a panel. This stack of side drawers holds up the back of the desk and most of its weight. The front of the desk stands on thick legs or pillars which are often highly carved, somewhat exaggerated, thick cabriole legs, but these are not essential. 19th century Davenport desks had a variety of different leg designs.

The desk shape is distinctive; its top part resembles an antique school desk while the bottom is like one half of the supports of a pedestal desk turned sideways. The addition of the two legs in front completes the odd effect.

This desk owes its name to a Captain Davenport who was the first to commission the design, from Gillow's of Lancaster, near the end of the 18th century. In a sense then it could also be considered a Campaign desk though there are no records indicating if Captain Davenport was in the British Army or the Royal Navy.

This desk form was popular during the 19th century. There have been numerous reproductions during the 20th century, and amateur cabinetmakers sometimes consider a Davenport to be an interesting project.

Burr Walnut refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produces some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find.


W56.0 x H85.0 x D56.0 cm



Wear condition


Date of manufacture



19th Century




VAT status

Seller is VAT registered


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