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George Iii Secretary Bookcase

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19th Century George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Chelmsford, Essex
For sale is a good quality George III secretary bookcase. The top of the bookcase has astregal glazed doors opening to reveal adjustable shelves. Below this the bureau fall opens to ...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

19th Century George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Chelmsford, Essex
For sale is a good quality George III mahogany Bureau bookcase. The bookcase top has two astregal glazed doors, opening to reveal adjustable shelves. Below this is a fall front, open...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

19th Century George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Chelmsford, Essex
For sale is a good quality George III mahogany bureau bookcase, with glazed doors to the top, with a nicely fitted interior below, the bookcase remains in good condition, showing min...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

George III Antique Mahogany Bookcase with Secretary
Located in Eindhoven, NL
Impressive antique mahogany bookcase with secretary. The cabinet is of very nice quality. In completely original condition. The mahogany has a beautiful drawing and warm appearance. ...
Category

Antique 1810s English Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

  • George III Antique Mahogany Bookcase with Secretary
  • George III Antique Mahogany Bookcase with Secretary
  • George III Antique Mahogany Bookcase with Secretary
  • George III Antique Mahogany Bookcase with Secretary
H 92.13 in. W 50.4 in. D 23.63 in.
18th Century George III Mahogany Bookcase Secretary, Georgian, 1780s
Located in Roma, RM
English Bookcase, George III, circa 1780, mahogany wood, in good condition but in need of restoration. Fantastic example of English craftsmanship for this type of furniture. Carefu...
Category

Antique 1780s English George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

18th Century George III Period Mahogany Breakfront Secretary Bookcase
Located in Gloucestershire, GB
18th century George III period mahogany breakfront bookcase with a secretaire or secretary drawer in the centre. The desk drawer is surprisingly useful in a modern home as laptops an...
Category

Antique Early 1800s British George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

George III Mahogany Butlers Secretary
Located in Essex, MA
With rectangular dentilled cornice over a pair of glazed Chippendale fretwork doors enclosing shelves , the base with secretary desk with fitted interior over four drawers, bracket f...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

  • George III Mahogany Butlers Secretary
  • George III Mahogany Butlers Secretary
  • George III Mahogany Butlers Secretary
  • George III Mahogany Butlers Secretary
H 81.75 in. W 37 in. D 22 in.
English George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase with Original Brasses, circa 1790
Located in New Orleans, LA
English George III mahogany secretary bookcase with original brasses (circa 1790).
Category

Antique 1770s Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

18th Century Chinoiserie Secretary Bookcase
Located in Chelmsford, Essex
For sale is a good quality 18th century chinoiserie Secretary bookcase. The top of the bookcase has an ornately shaped and carved pediment, above a single arched mirror door, opening...
Category

Antique Mid-18th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Oak

  • 18th Century Chinoiserie Secretary Bookcase
  • 18th Century Chinoiserie Secretary Bookcase
  • 18th Century Chinoiserie Secretary Bookcase
  • 18th Century Chinoiserie Secretary Bookcase
H 96.5 in. W 36 in. D 23.25 in.
19C Irish Georgian Style Secretary Bookcase
Located in Dallas, TX
PRESENTING a STUNNING 19C Irish Georgian Style Secretary Bookcase. From circa 1850-60 and most definitely, “IRISH”. Made of gorgeous flamed Cuban mahogany which would have been imp...
Category

Antique Mid-19th Century Irish George III Bookcases

Materials

Glass, Mahogany, Satinwood

  • 19C Irish Georgian Style Secretary Bookcase
  • 19C Irish Georgian Style Secretary Bookcase
  • 19C Irish Georgian Style Secretary Bookcase
  • 19C Irish Georgian Style Secretary Bookcase
H 87 in. W 84.75 in. D 20.75 in.
George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Port Chester, NY
Elegant Georgian style cabinet with classical pediment, geometric glazing bars over the twin doors with three adjustable shelves within, the lower section with a fall front, fully li...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary European George III Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 88.5 in. W 40.75 in. D 22 in.
English George III Style Lacquered Chinoiserie Secretary Bookcase
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Stunning Italian Chinoiserie secretary bookcase crafted in the English George III taste. Beautifully decorated in the Chinoiserie revival period of mid-19th century through early 20t...
Category

20th Century Italian George III Secretaires

Materials

Brass

English Chippendale Mahogany Breakfront With Secretary, Circa 1790
Located in Charleston, SC
English Chippendale mahogany breakfront with carved molded cornice, four upper case glass doors with arched oval mullions, adjustable interior shelving, lower case concealing a slidi...
Category

Antique 1790s English George III Bookcases

Materials

Brass

George III Bookcase or Secretary Bureau of Mahogany from England
Located in Austin, TX
A handsome English bureau bookcase or secretary from the George III period, featuring a canopy top over two paneled doors of flame-cut mahogany, opening to a a bookcase with fitted s...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Secretaires

Materials

Metal, Brass

English George III Style Lacquered Chinoiserie Secretary Bookcase
By Lewis Mittman
Located in Great Barrington, MA
The two piece Chinoiserie Secretaire by Maitland-Smith features multiple drawers and compartments, double arched top and molded trim. The stunning bookcase crafted in the English Geo...
Category

20th Century Chinoiserie Desks and Writing Tables

Materials

Wood

Antique English George III Slant-Front Secretary w/ Bookcase in Cuban Mahogany
Located in Miami, FL
A fine 18th century George III English bureau bookcase secretary in solid West Indies/ Cuban mahogany. The bonnet features a swan neck, broken-scroll pediment with carved rosettes an...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

Antique Secretary Bookcase
Located in Gloucestershire, GB
Antique secretaire or secretary bookcase, this is an especially fine piece of furniture made from fine quality figured fiddle back mahogany with mahogany lined drawers and a desk dra...
Category

Antique 18th Century British George III Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

  • Antique Secretary Bookcase
  • Antique Secretary Bookcase
  • Antique Secretary Bookcase
  • Antique Secretary Bookcase
H 74 in. W 60.25 in. D 24 in.
English Slant Front Bureau Bookcase / Secretary
Located in Woodbury, CT
This English oak slant front bureau bookcase / secretary with mahogany crossbanding and dentil crown moulding is a fine example of English country formal furniture. From its shaped, ...
Category

Antique 18th Century British George III Secretaires

Materials

Oak

English Mahogany Secretary With Mirrored Bookcase. Circa 1780
Located in Charleston, SC
English mahogany secretary with mirrored bookcase. Secretary has a upper case broken pediment top with dental molding, original mirrored doors, candle slides, and fitted interior wi...
Category

Antique 1780s English George III Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

English Mahogany Secretary with Blind Door Bookcase. Circa 1770
Located in Charleston, SC
English Mahogany secretary with bookcase. Secretary has intricately carved upper case flanking blind doors with a fitted interior and adjustable shelving. Lower case has a slant fr...
Category

Antique 1770s English George III Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

English Regency Mahogany Fall Front Secretary With Bookcase. Circa 1790
Located in Charleston, SC
English Regency mahogany fall front secretary bookcase with dental molding, adjustable interior shelving, fitted interior desk, leather writing surface, original brasses, and termina...
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier British George III Secretaires

18th Century English Bird's-Eye Maple and Mahogany Bookcase Secretary
Located in Savannah, GA
This is a bookcase secretary / bureau bookcase made in England, circa 1790. It has a beautifully shaped top with a heavy, layered crown molding. There is a pair of beautifully glazed...
Category

Antique 1790s English George III Secretaires

Materials

Birdseye Maple

English Mahogany and Satinwood Fall Front Secretary with Bookcase C. 1780
Located in Charleston, SC
English mahogany secretary bookcase with a carved molded edge cornice, flanking hinged glass doors revealing adjustable interior shelving, fall front desk with leather writing surfac...
Category

Antique 1780s English George III Secretaires

Materials

Brass

English Mahogany Tambour Graduated Hinged Secretary with Bookcase, Circa 1800
Located in Charleston, SC
English mahogany secretary with a carved molded dental cornice, two hinged upper case doors revealing three adjustable interior shelves, tambour desk fitted with interior leather too...
Category

Antique Early 1800s English George III Secretaires

Materials

Brass

18th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
Located in Cleveland, OH
Mahogany and satinwood inlaid 13 lite secretary bookcase with reticulated broken arch pediment over a fitted leather top desk above two inlaid doors on bracket feet. Inlaid with f...
Category

Antique 18th Century English George III Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany, Satinwood

  • 18th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 18th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 18th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 18th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
H 102 in. W 48.75 in. D 24.5 in.
George III Period Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Atlanta, GA
An 18th century mahogany secretary bookcase with a secretary drawer and three additional drawers on bracket feet
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier English Bookcases

Materials

Wood, Glass, Leather

  • George III Period Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Period Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Period Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Period Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 87.5 in. W 42.5 in. D 19.25 in.
George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in New York, NY
English, George III mahogany secretary bookcase in two parts, glazed doors and, Shelved interior. Lower part with two false drawers opening to a maple veneered. Fitted interior...
Category

Antique 19th Century English Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany, Maple

  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 84 in. W 39 in. D 20 in. L 84 in.
19th Century English Mahogany Two-Part Secretary Bookcase
Located in Miami, FL
English mahogany two-part secretary bookcase; the upper section with a molded cornice over two long cabinet doors decorated in the Adams style with etched glass mirrors depicting neo...
Category

Antique 19th Century English George III Secretaires

Materials

Brass

George III Parcel-Gilt Secretary Bookcase
Located in Brooklyn, NY
An exquisite English Georgian secretary bookcase of exceptional design and detail. The swan-necked broken pediment features gilt acanthus flourishes and rosettes with a central plint...
Category

Antique Early 1800s English George III Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

George III Secretary-Bookcase
Located in Atlanta, GA
An unusual mahogany secretaire-book cabinet, the upper section with glazed doors with central arched mullions, the lower section consisting of a tambour-enclosed writing surface with...
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier English Bookcases

Materials

Brass

English George III Mirrored Mahogany Secretary Bookcase, circa 1770
By Giles Grendey
Located in San Francisco, CA
A very nice mahogany gilt slant front secretary bookcase with mirror and gilt accents. This particular design and construction is associated with Giles Grendy. We date this to the th...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Secretaires

Materials

Brass

20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
Located in Miami, FL
With a broken bonnet with rosette form ends and an urn form finial. The shaped burled wood double glass door opens to two shelves. The slant front opens to cubby holes, five drawers....
Category

Early 20th Century English Baroque Revival Secretaires

Materials

Glass, Wood

  • 20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
H 76.77 in. W 30.11 in. L 76.77 in.
20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
Located in Miami, FL
With a broken bonnet with rosette form ends and an urn form finial. The shaped burled wood double glass door opens to two shelves. The slant front opens to cubby holes, five drawers....
Category

Early 20th Century English Baroque Revival Secretaires

  • 20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
  • 20th Century George III Secretary Bookcase
H 76.77 in. W 30.11 in. D 14.96 in.
George III Secretary Bookcase in Mahogany & Satinwood with Swan Neck Pediment
Located in Atlanta, GA
Early 19th century English George III inlaid secretary bookcase in mahogany and satinwood with two (2) glass front cabinet doors above and three (3) drawers and secretary drawer with...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century English George III Secretaires

Materials

Glass, Mahogany, Satinwood

18th Century English Red Chinoiserie Secretary Bookcase
Located in Natchez, MS
18th century English George III Secretary Bookcase with molded paneled doors over slant front and four drawers. Red Chinoiserie Decoration with gilt accents is a later addition on t...
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier English George III Secretaires

George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in San Francisco, CA
A good quality early George III mahogany secretary bookcase, the upper stage with a broken pediment cornice centered by Prince of Wales feathers above the astragal glazed doors; the ...
Category

Antique 1760s English George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany, Oak

  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 98 in. W 42 in. D 23 in.
George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in San Francisco, CA
A good quality George III mahogany secretary bookcase, the swan neck pediment with floral terminals above the key fret moulding and a pair of mullioned doors enclosing fabric-lined s...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 95 in. W 43 in. D 21.5 in.
George III Slant Front Bookcase or Secretary
Located in Woodbury, CT
Georgian mahogany slant front glazed bookcase or secretary. The detachable broken pediment carved with dentil cornice is centered by a small platform. The upper section features two,...
Category

Antique 18th Century British George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

  • George III Slant Front Bookcase or Secretary
  • George III Slant Front Bookcase or Secretary
  • George III Slant Front Bookcase or Secretary
  • George III Slant Front Bookcase or Secretary
H 102 in. W 42.25 in. D 21 in.
George III Mahogany and Inlaid Secretary Bookcase
Located in Chelmsford, Essex
For sale is a good quality George III mahogany and inlaid bureau bookcase. The top of the bookcase is decoratively inlaid, above two glazed doors, opening to reveal two adjustable sh...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

19th Century George III Style Secretary / Bookcase
Located in Atlanta, GA
19th century George III style secretary / bookcase.
Category

Antique 19th Century English George III Bookcases

PERIOD GEORGE III MAHOGANY SECRETARY BOOKCASE
Located in Essex, MA
Beautiful Georgian Secretary Bookcase with Beautifully Reticulated Pediment
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier English Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

19th Century English George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Chelmsford, Essex
For sale is a good quality George III mahogany secretaire bookcase. Having a glazed top, opening to reveal adjustable shelves. Below this, the secretaire drawer opens to a fully fitt...
Category

Antique Early 19th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Glass, Mahogany

A George III Mahogany Satinwood & Rosewood Secretary/ Bookcase
Located in Sheffield, MA
The over hanging molded cornice over resting on top above two glazed mullioned doors opening to adjustable shelves, above a projecting center section fitted a pullout secretary,flank...
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier English Bookcases

Antique English George III mahogany secretary/bookcase.
Located in New Orleans, LA
Antique English George III mahogany secretary/bookcase.
Category

Antique 19th Century English Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

George III Mahogany Secretary Desk
Located in Port Chester, NY
George III (Hepplewhite) mahogany and oval inlaid butler's secretary desk in two parts on French feet with shaped apron, glass mullion doors, fitted interior with pigeon holes and sa...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Bookcases

  • George III Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Desk
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Desk
H 85 in. W 40 in. D 19.5 in.
English George III Mahogany Antique Secretary Desk with Bookcase, circa 1790
Located in Shippensburg, PA
A superbly crafted and designed piece, this fine secretary desk is a rare survivor with nearly perfect originality throughout. Other than the surface having been touched up over the...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century Great Britain (UK) George III Bookcases

Materials

Brass

English Late 18th Century George III Mahogany Secretary Desk and Bookcase
Located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Of classical proportions and with the warm glow of the flamed mahogany this secretary bookcase consists of two parts. The upper part features a dentil molded cornice above two panele...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Wood

19th Century English George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase with Dome Top
Located in Atlanta, GA
A 19th Century English George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase with Dome Top, secretary drawer satinwood fitted interior, leather writing surface and cabinet below.
Category

Antique 19th Century English Bookcases

English George III Polychrome Decorated Secretary in the Chinoiserie Taste
Located in Dallas, TX
An English George III polychrome decorated secretary executed in the Chinoiserie taste, late 18th century, the superstructure with mullioned doors opening to fixed shelves above the ...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Bookcases

Materials

Wood

18th Century Mahogany Secretary Bookcase of Small Proportions
Located in Chelmsford, Essex
For sale is a good quality George III mahogany bureau bookcase with associated top. The top of the bookcase has two glazed doors, opening to reveal three adjustable shelves. Below th...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century European George III Bookcases

Materials

Mahogany

George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Port Chester, NY
A George III period two-part mahogany secretary desk with inlaid interior, document drawer, glass mullions, candle slides and ogee feet.
Category

Antique 1780s European George III Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 83.5 in. W 39 in. L 83.5 in.
George III Parcel-Gilt Secretary Bookcase
Located in Port Chester, NY
Elegant Georgian style antiqued grey painted and gilt highlighted secretary bookcase with classical pediment, geometric glazing bars over the twin doors with three adjustable shelves...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary English George III Secretaires

Materials

Wood

  • George III Parcel-Gilt Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Parcel-Gilt Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Parcel-Gilt Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Parcel-Gilt Secretary Bookcase
H 88.5 in. W 40.75 in. D 22 in.
English George III Mahogany Secretary Bureau Bookcase
Located in WEST PALM BEACH, FL
This is a very handsome mahogany English George III secretary/bureau bookcase with a gently arched cornice over two glazed astragal door with gothic moulding opening to reveal interi...
Category

Antique Late 18th Century English George III Cabinets

Materials

Mahogany

George III Double Secretary Bookcase of Mahogany
Located in Austin, TX
A fine English double secretary bookcase of mahogany from the Georgian era, featuring a moulded top with two astragal glazed doors, each side opening to three adjustable shelves. Se...
Category

Antique 19th Century English George III Secretaires

Materials

Brass

George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Kilmarnock, VA
An elegant and simple George III mahogany secretaire bookcase with glazed doors enclosing adjustable shelves, the lower section with drawers and fitted interior.
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier English Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 87 in. W 42 in. L 87 in.
George III mahogany secretary bookcase
Located in San Francisco, CA
A George III mahogany secretary bookcase the upper case with dentilled cornice over a pair of glazed and mullioned doors above a hinged slant front desk with a fitted interior over ...
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier English Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany, Glass

  • George III mahogany secretary bookcase
  • George III mahogany secretary bookcase
  • George III mahogany secretary bookcase
  • George III mahogany secretary bookcase
H 89 in. W 46 in. D 23 in.
George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in San Francisco, CA
A George III mahogany secretary bookcase the cornice with dentil moulding above the double glazed and mullioned doors opening to adjustable shelves, the lower case with a fall front ...
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier British Georgian Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 80.25 in. W 39 in. D 19.5 in.
Irish George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Essex, MA
THE TALL BROKEN ARCH PEDIMENT OVER A PAIR OF DOORS WITH CHINESE CHIPPENDALE MULLIONS ENCLOSING TWO SHELVES LINED WITH CREAM SILK.THE BASE WITH SLANT LID WRITING SURFACE WITH FITTED I...
Category

Antique 18th Century and Earlier Irish Georgian Secretaires

  • Irish George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • Irish George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • Irish George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
  • Irish George III Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
H 81.75 in. W 39.5 in. D 21.5 in.
George III English Mahogany Secretary Bookcase
Located in Atlanta, GA
An English figured mahogany secretary bookcase with moulded cornice, glazed doors with arched sash work, pullout drawer enclosing writing surface, small drawers and pigeonholes. Belo...
Category

Antique 19th Century English Secretaires

Materials

Mahogany

George III Style Flame Mahogany Secretary Desk Secretaire Bookcase
By Councill
Located in West Hartford, CT
Magnificent George III style flame mahogany secretary bookcase/desk by Councill Craftsman, circa 1980s, USA. Features four drawers at bottom all adorned with original brass hardware...
Category

Vintage 1980s American George III Desks and Writing Tables

Materials

Brass

  • 1

George Iii Secretary Bookcase For Sale on 1stDibs

At 1stDibs, there are many versions of the ideal george iii secretary bookcase for your home. Each george iii secretary bookcase for sale was constructed with extraordinary care, often using wood, mahogany and glass. There are 82 variations of the antique or vintage george iii secretary bookcase you’re looking for, while we also have 2 modern editions of this piece to choose from as well. Your living room may not be complete without a george iii secretary bookcase — find older editions for sale from the 18th Century and newer versions made as recently as the 21st Century. A george iii secretary bookcase is a generally popular piece of furniture, but those created in Georgian styles are sought with frequency. You’ll likely find more than one george iii secretary bookcase that is appealing in its simplicity, but Councill produced versions that are worth a look.

How Much is a George Iii Secretary Bookcase?

A george iii secretary bookcase can differ in price owing to various characteristics — the average selling price 1stDibs is $9,733, while the lowest priced sells for $2,245 and the highest can go for as much as $70,000.

Finding the Right Secretaires for You

Your antique, new or vintage secretary desk has become the (chic) saving grace of the "new normal" at home.

Simply put, a secretary desk is a multifunctional piece of furniture with a hinged writing surface that folds open or drops down. When the leaf is folded out, small inner storage compartments — pigeonholes, cubbies, recesses or drawers — are revealed.

Traditionally, a secretary is composed of two parts — a chest of drawers on the bottom and a cabinet with shelves on the top. Taking its name from the French word for the piece, secrétaire, the secretary desk dates back to the 18th century, when Paris-based cabinetmaker Jean-François Oeben, known for his exquisite marquetry and clever mechanical desks, is thought to have invented the secrétaire à abbattant, or drop-leaf desk.

While the defining drop-down feature of the secretary desk has remained constant, the materials used, as well as its configuration, size and style have evolved over time.

At first, secretaries were typically made from exotic woods, like rosewood, tulipwood and kingwood; later, hardwoods like cherry, maple, oak and mahogany were more common. The desks also became lighter, with space carved out of the lower half for the writer’s feet or with drawers replaced by legs — making them more table-like.

When open, the secretary is a dynamic, versatile Wunderkammer. When closed, it’s a sophisticated, space-saving piece of furniture.

“A fine secretary with a good provenance adds stature and credence to its owner — it is a cornerstone piece,” says antiques dealer Stanley Weiss, who specializes in 18th- and 19th-century English and American furniture. “In this disposable world, fine furniture is always passed on and speaks to who its owner is.”

No matter what style or period you choose, and no matter how you decide to use it, the timeless, flexible secretary desk is bound to become an indispensable part of your daily routine.

Browse a range of antique and vintage secretary desks on 1stDibs, including mid-century modern secretaires, Georgian secretaires and others.