Relevant categories: Desks
(Above photo - Georgian Pedestal Desk Mahogany Writing Table Office )
Also referred to as a tanker desk, a pedestal desk is a free-standing, broad, flat desk with a flat working surface. Instead of legs, it is held in place by two small stacks of drawers or pedestals. The base is usually nothing but a plinth. In most cases, a pedestal desk has a large central drawer just above the user’s knees and legs.
There were times during the 19th century when the desk would have a modesty panel in front. That was meant to hide the user’s knees and legs from those standing or sitting in front. When made this way, it would be called a panel desk. Some ancient desks with a panel like that one may also go by the name kneehole desks. Users would place the counters against walls before using them.
(Above photo - Antique Walnut Pedestal Desk - Regency Table )
From the mid-1700s, the pedestal desk had an inlay of a leather panel on top. Sometimes it would have a blind-stamped border or one made from pure gold. Instead of leather, some had the writing surface made from baize. Where the top surface was wooden, the desk would have a retractable lined writing drawer. The pullout was sometimes reduced to a bookrest.
History of the Pedestal Desk
(Above photo - Victorian Pedestal Desk - Mahogany Circa 1860 )
In England, the first pedestal desks appeared in the 18th century. However, they only gained popularity during the two succeeding centuries. With time, they were preferred over the writing-table as a secretary desk. That’s why they appear in large numbers. Before the popularization of the pedestal desk in England, variants had appeared in China and France.
As for the Chinese variant, no European ever saw the physical desk. The only way they knew about it is from the drawings appearing on imported porcelain pieces. In the real sense of the word, the early forms from China and France cannot be called pedestal desks. They did not have the full stack of drawers, which is the main characteristic.
Some pedestal desks were doubled up to form a square writing surface. Drawers were put on both sides so that the desk could accommodate two persons at a go. In that case, you may call it a partner’s desk. The double pedestal desks were a constant feature in libraries. In some of his drawings, Thomas Chippendale reveals the designs for such writing tables.
(Above photo - Antique Pedestal Desk - Victorian Writing Table 1860 )
Later in the mid-20th century, there appeared steel metallic pedestal desks. Most of these were widespread across the Atlantic in the US to the 1970s. They were popular in businesses, government offices, and schools. Some variants of the pedestal desks had one of the pedestals replaced with legs. Depending on where the pedestal is, it can be referred to as a left or right pedestal desk. Mostly it serves as a student desk.
You could buy a pedestal desk to use in your office or at home. After all, it was designed for writing purposes. If an antique, then it can be a handy addition to your home’s interior décor. For the most significant options of pedestal desks, visit our shop today.
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