Important Historical Desk of Admiral Markham For Sale
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Important Historical Desk of Admiral Markham


The important historical desk of Admiral Sir Albert Hastings Markham (Admiral Markham) born 11 November 1841 – 28 October 1918 was a famous British explorer, author and officer in the Royal Navy. This Victorian 'plum pudding' mahogany partners desk was previously owned by the famous British Explorer Sir Admiral Markham. In excellent condition this Naval desk was constructed for military / navy use. The crossbanded top with inset leather writing surface has a brass gallery to each side in order to stop book/maps etc sliding off in rough seas. This removes to reveal a central drawer screwed into each pedestal by inset military style brass plates enabling this to be easily removed so to be detachable from each pedestal. The pedestals each containing four graduated mahogany drawers each having cockbeaded fronts and central locks and turned wooden handles. The drawers are fully mahogany lined with hand cut dovetails with one bearing the Army and Navy Depository sticker of Admiral Markhams. The sides are inset panelled with the rear of the pedestals having two locking doors which open to reveal storage so to be used as a partners desk. The desk is in excellent condition with the later leather insert showing signs of wear but in keeping with the desk. Admiral Sir Albert Hastings Markham (Admiral Markham) born 11 November 1841 – 28 October 1918 was a famous British explorer, author and officer in the Royal Navy. Between 1875-6 Sir Albert Hastings Markham was appointed second in command of the HMS Alert which made an unprecedented voyage to the North Pole. Despite suffering from scurvy and being poorly clothed he led a sledge party to reach the highest latitude ever attained at the time and a record that stood for 20 years. The significance of the expedition is evident as the Geography of Northern Canada and Greenland is dotted with the names of those connected with the expedition – Nares Strait, Nares Lake, Markham Ice Shelf, Ayles Ice Shelf and Mount Ayles. The voyage was supported by the ship HMS Alert which was a 17 gun wooden screw sloop of the Cruizer class of the Royal Navy which was launched in 1856. It was on this Arctic expedition that the Victorian Partners Desk is believed to reside in the Captain's quarters. The previous owner of the desk (residing in an estate in Hertfordshire) has indicated some of the history behind the origins of the desk: …” the Victorian desk was on HMS Alert hence the side rails. This was confirmed because the vicar that baptized 3 of my children was Canon Gervase Markham, the nephew of Admiral Markham. I asked about the desk and he recalled the desk being in the family and his uncle telling him about it and having the rail installed. He also mentioned something about the feet on the desk being specially adapted to prepare the ship for expedition." As you can see this is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire an extraordinary piece of history. We have a lot of paperwork to go with the desk from the original owner.


  • Condition
  • Wear
    Wear consistent with age and use.
  • Dimensions
    H 29.53 in. x W 57.09 in. x D 33.08 in.H 75 cm x W 145 cm x D 84 cm
  • Seller Location
    Benington, GB
  • Seller Reference Number
  • Reference Number
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About the Seller

5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2015
Located in Benington, GB
LAPADA - The Association of Arts & Antiques Dealers
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