Relevant categories: Desks
(Above photo - Georgian Knee Hole desk in mahogany )
Georgian kneehole desks feature three drawers on each side of the kneehole and one long drawer across the top. Instead of the long drawer, the desk may also have three smaller drawers across the top. However, there could be several variations from the original design, especially coming out during the 19th century.
A kneehole desk is a smaller version of the pedestal desk, almost similar to a chest of drawers but with a recessed section in the middle, for a user to put legs while writing. The desktop provides a valuable writing surface for the home office.
(Above photo - Antique Walnut Georgian Knee Hole Desk Circa 1900 )
A typical Georgian kneehole desk is distinctively different from those that came out in later years. The following are the characteristics of this types of furniture:
Given the time and era when it was made, a Georgian kneehole desk features rich, dark woods like walnut and mahogany. However, mahogany became the most popular wood for making furniture during the Georgian period. The reason for that is mahogany’s tendency to resist splitting or warping compared to walnut. Also, it was possible to produce sharper carvings with mahogany than a walnut. However, walnut remained one of the primary materials used in making Georgian knee holes.
(Above photo - George III Desk - Mahogany Knee Hole Pedestal Desks )
Like other Georgian pieces of furniture, kneehole desks were heavier and masculine. They featured decorations such as the shell motif, honeysuckle motifs, animal heads, acanthus leaves, oriental designs, masks, and scrolls. In most cases, the furniture was layered with a mixture of water and gypsum, which was then carved to create various objects. The oyster shell shelf rings mainly were made of brass
Bracket feet are a common feature in Georgian chests of drawers, pedestal desks, and kneehole desks. They were meant to support the more significant weight carried by these types of furniture. Therefore, bracket feet, even though an important feature, aren’t unique to kneehole desks.
(Above photo - Antique Knee Hole Desk - Georgian Mahogany 18th Century )
The Georgian period features several designers, including Thomas Chippendale, James & Robert Adam, George Hepplewhite, and Thomas Sheraton. Thomas Chippendale emerged towards the end of George I’s reign over England. He borrowed ornate, gothic, and Chinese elements and infused them into English furniture, creating a fresh style.
Later, James & Robert Adam emerged with an elegant, delicate style, defined by pleasing proportions. He used walnut and mahogany but preferred making inlays of ebony, satinwood, and tulipwood. On most of the furniture designed by the Adam brothers, you would find garlands, festoons, ribbon bands, acanthus leaf, and oval sunbursts.
George Hepplewhite was the first firnuture designer to perfect the sideboard. He also created the graceful, lighter bed standing on four posts. Then came Thomas Sheraton, with a more artistic style that led to the perfection of pedestal desks and knee hole desks.
(Above photo - George III Mahogany Knee Hole Desk Bureau Pedestal Desks )
Georgian knee hole desks retain an important part in today’s home and office furniture needs. Apart from helping decorate space, they are highly functional for storage and work purposes. You can buy one of these desks from us today!
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