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Antique Desk Facts

Antique Swedish Art Deco & Biedermeier Desks and Escritoires

As popular as ever – there’s nothing more beautiful than a Swedish antique Art Deco or Biedermeier desk to make a statement in a room or office.

We live in the age of ipads, iphones, hot desking and mobile internet but there’s still nothing like the comfort, stability and grandeur of an antique desk.

We specialise in Swedish Gustavian, Biedmeier and Art Deco desks from the 1800 and 1900s – they are classics of their genre and provide the perfect visual centrepiece for your room. The antique Swedish Art Deco desks we stock are made from beautiful woods either birch with a figured golden birch veneer or Swedish pine in the case of the Gustavian desks. 

Either way they have a light airy feel and if you choose an escritoire or an antique ladies writing table, they fit perfectly into a bedroom or dressing room finished in a subtle Swedish white or pale blue. Match that to a really useful selection of inner drawers and shelving and you begin to see why owning an antique desk is a really good thing!

Desk Formats:

Mostly the desks come in 2 types : the classic pedestal desk and the escritoire.

The antique pedestal desk unlike its heavy English Victorian counterparts, has a very elegant profile with a set of drawers in each pedestal (often behind a hinged door) and a central drawer above the sitting area. The woods are usually a flamed golden birch in a light or mid oak stain and wonderful flowing movement in the wood grain. They look amazing and provide huge amounts of useful storage for paperwork, hard drives or any other accoutrements of modern living. They tend to be 1-1.5m wide and standard desk height at around 75-80cm tall. Strangely almost every desk we have ever found has had ink spilled in at least one of the drawers – one of those fun quirks on history. Of course we can sand the ink stains away but I always think its fun to keep as a badge of honour.

The antique escritoires are general much smaller at around 75-100cm wide and the body sits on 4 fluted or cabriole legs with a drop down desk flap with all sorts of small drawers set into the desk body behind. The desk is usually about 65cm deep with the lid down giving ample writing area and perfect for a laptop, iMac  or iPads. This makes it a great solution for a smaller space or if you work predominantly on laptops rather than a full screen although you can always mount the screen op top of the escritoire of you do use a full computer.


Gustavian Desks

Antique Gustavian desks generally have a painted finish and come in both escritoire and pedestal forms. They are usually highly carved and have very elegant decoration to them with fluted legs or a carved plinth in the case of the pedestal desks which have upper drawers and then wither drawers in each pedestal or a cupboard with shelves.

The Escritoire style generally has fluted or cabriole legs with a drop down desk lid and a selection of small drawers behind it – perfect for laptop or ipad users or if you have a small space.

Biedermeier Desks

These desks are always in a french polished highly decorative veneer finish in golden birch or birds eye maple and in pedestal format. The veneers show greats swooping swirls or quilt and flame woodgrain and are usually in a light honey to mid oak colour. They have a very elegant persona and usually feature a combination of drawers and cupboards in the pedestals often with marquetry detailing on the doors.

Art Deco Desks

Again usually in pedestal shape, Art Deco desks come with highly flamed golden birch french polished veneers or wild birds eye maple usually in the classic light honey colour finish that is so sort after by collectors the world over. They may also have the Greco Roman themed marquetry inlays featured on the desk top and pedestal sides and often have a veneered back unlike most desks that have a plain back so they look great from all sides when standing in the middle of the room rather than against the wall like Gustavian desks for example.