Antique Swedish Biedermeier Partners Desk 19th Century

Antique Swedish Biedermeier Partners Desk 19th Century


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About this item

A beautiful and extremely rare antique 'William IV' Swedish, Biedermeier Satin Birch Veneered Partners Desk circa 1830, the rectangular top with tooled black leather inset with tooled gilt line and Greek key decoration, over two large central frieze drawers (one front and rear) with fully fitted pedestals each end. Each of the twin pedestals with ebonized mouldings to the panelled doors and sides, the doors to either end opening to reveal five fitted drawers with gilt lions mask ring handles, there are a total of 26 drawers to the desk, the locks to the drawers and cupboards with ebony shield escutcheons, raised on a plinth base with a later fitted central bespoke matching compartment comprising of four drawers, the desk comes with 10 original brass and steel keys & tassels, the central compartment was made by a master cabinet maker on the instructions of the previous owner who required more desk space, this part of the desk is easily removed if one wanted, the desk comes in four sections making moving and setting up easier.

Provenance: Formally the property of an international ‘Rock Star’ from one of the most iconic bands in the world.

The Biedermeier Style

A remarkable example of how furniture design can reflect great historical events is provided by the emergence of the Biedermeier style after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in 1815. The mood of Europe changed - and the style of furniture altered dramatically to match this mood. As Napoleon had conquered most of Europe, the pompous, magnificent Empire style with its grand, monumental mahogany furniture had become extremely fashionable, and palaces and houses were accordingly redecorated throughout the continent.

But after Napoleon's final defeat, Europe settled down to a long period of peace. The middle classes, who were prospering, wanted a simpler style, which could be functional as well as beautiful. This style, later as 'Biedermeier', is essentially Empire furniture shorn of its ormolu mounts, excessive gilding and aggressive self-importance. Its original geometric shape often leads it to being described as the forerunner of modern furniture.

Like most styles, it did not have a name while it was being made, but was only given one after it had been and gone. The term 'Biedermeier' is often wrongly assumed to be the name of a cabinetmaker or designer of the period. During the late 1840s in Austria and Germany, the preceding era (1815-1848) was subject to a barrage of satire, which finally led to the very furniture being mocked. The painter-poet Josef Victor von Scheffel published in 1848 cynical poems with titles as 'Biedermann's Evening socialising' and 'Bummelmaier's Complaint' in the Viennese satirical magazine 'Fliegende Blätter' (Flying Leaves). These names were combined into the pseudonym 'Gottlieb Biedermaier' by Ludwig Eichrodt, who together with Adolf Kussmaul published poems by the schoolmaster Samuel Friedrich Sauter under this name. The spelling finally changed into 'Biedermeier' in 1869 when Eichrodt published 'Biedermeier's Liederlust'.

Circa 1830
Satin Birch Veneer
Partners Desk
Leather Inset
Twenty Six Drawers
Ten Keys & Tassels
Practical & Beautiful


Height: 32” Inches (Floor to kneehole 27” Inches)

Width: 59” Inches

Depth: 49” Inches

Additional dimensions information:

See description




Date of manufacture



satin, satin birch, birch


19th Century




VAT status

Seller is VAT registered


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