What are those old desks called? Antique Secretary Desks
The antique secretary desk has a history dating back to the seventeenth century. It originated within the French escritoire, or “small writing desk” that featured a surface that either pulled out or folded down to create a larger expanse for writing.
How do I find a vintage desk?
- Look at the wood. Many secretary desks from the 1700s and 1800s feature exotic woods like rosewood, tulipwood, and kingwood.
- Examine the construction.
- Look for a manufacturer mark or label.
How do I know if my desk is an antique? Look carefully at the bottom, sides, and back of the drawer; if the wood shows nicks or cuts, it was probably cut with a plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife. Straight saw marks also indicate an old piece. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, it was cut by a circular saw, not in use until about 1860.
What were old desks made of? In fact, a Bible box—a plain wooden container with a flat or slanted lid, which held the Bible and important papers—was the earliest desk.