A Wonderful Painted Pine Mid-19thC Art-School Clerk’s Desk c.1860-70

Origin: English
Period: Mid-Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860-70
Width: 24.25”
Height: 40.75”
Depth: 19” (all at top)

The beautifully proportioned painted pine clerk’s desk hailing from mid-Victorian England, the whole having elegant tapering slender legs to a hinged sloping writing surface opening to reveal a partitioned interior, being untouched from its heavy use throughout the decades, the carcass with an exceptional glass like patina to the original painted surfaces, and with several graffitied English names, possibly having been used in an artist’s studio or in art school classes.

She remains in a good untouched and original state and has been simply waxed to protect her idiosyncrasies. The original finish is worn in some areas, as photographed, at the areas of heaviest use, as are the table edges though this is of course all desirable, and expected, all in the right places. The sloping lid is sturdy and the original lock remains though we have no key. The partitions are a little loose in their grooves but stable.

It is clear that this table was positioned into a corner for its entirety as the right flank and front sections have an abundance of thick patination from years of use whereas the left flank and rear are largely a lot fresher, perhaps this was the table that sat in the corner of an art class for the days naughty child? Names such as Jane, Allan, Steph, Chris and Anna have all been grafftied in over the years.

What is sure is that this table would have been part of the daily life in the same room for decades at which the user could either stand at or sit at on a high stool. The wonderfully rich layers of paint rouse a relatively normal table into a tableau of creative activity, making it a unique table or desk for the creative.

With simply sublime surfaces, this is a very tactile, attractive and unique piece of furniture.