Rare 18th Century Georgian Period Mahogany Architect Desk


In stock


This rare and elegant Georgian Architect’s desk has a ratchet top, extending drawer front, as well as storage compartments. Architect desks, more commonly known now as drafting desks, were built for artists, architects, and engineers, serving as multipurpose desks. They typically feature an adjustable work surface that allowed the user to adjust to a more comfortable position with compartmental storage for utensils such as pens, pencils, rulers, and more.

During the Georgian era, there was an explosion of interest in classical architecture. The homes being designed were based on classical forms of the earlier Renaissance period, favoring symmetry, grandiosity, and uniform stonework. The buildings that were created were often on a larger scale. Architects required a larger working space to draft drawings and plans.

The ratchet top of the desk got the most use. The top lifts over hinges and can be angled while the gate drops into grooves along a track for support. This feature allows the user to stand or sit comfortably without bending over. Two small pin-like holes have been pre-cut at the top of the surface, these were most likely to secure paper, since architects had large plans and projects. As mentioned, there is an extending drawer front with an ornate brass pull and lock. Inside, there is a leathered sloped writing surface that when pushed back, reveals a sizable storage compartment.

During this period, leathered writing surfaces were common on desks since steel pens were easier to control on a softer surface. A user of this desk may have used the ratchet top for drafting sketches and the leathered surface for conducting more formal works. This storage area has removable walls that can be moved to make custom sizes in the compartment to fit all sizes of items. This would have been important since an architect would be working with various forms and sizes of paper. There are drawers in this compartment for more precious or valuable items. Another neat feature is a drawer on the front that rotates outward to give access to pens and ink. The desk sits on marlborough legs, which were typical of mid-18th Century English furniture.

Overall, this piece is simplistic in style but rich in history. It is that history and features that make this piece uncommon. Having been used by an enterprising architect of the mid-1700s makes it much more than just a desk. It is the perfect piece for a modern-day aspiring architect, an avid antique collector, or even a furniture lover. Wherever it is placed it will be sure to spark conversation and awe.

Open: Height= 49 in., Width= 30 in., Depth= 43 in.
Closed: Height= 34.5 in., Width= 38.5 in., Depth= 25.5 in.
Weight= 90 lbs.

Additional information

Weight 90 lbs
Dimensions L 25.5 x W 38.5 x H 34.5 in
Style / Period


Year / Century


Place of Origin



Mahogany / Brass

Additional Dimensions

Open: Height= 49 in., Width= 30 in., Depth= 43 in.
Closed: Height= 34.5 in., Width= 38.5 in., Depth= 25.5 in.
Open drawer: 24 in.


The table has two tiers of writing surfaces.

On the top tier is the ratchet top of the desk, which got the most use. There are scratches and ink stains throughout due to use and wear and slight discoloring of the wood, from setting it near sunlight so the architect could work longer hours. It was constructed with two holes to secure the paper. These holes are original to the piece and not flaws or later additions.

The second tier shows that the ratcheted top above is fitted with a central drawer. Looking at the second surface tier of the desktop is a crack from one end to another that has been restored. The edge of the left side has another crack. There are no damages that will affect the purpose of the desk, other than being noticeable markings. This is most likely from the wood expanding and contracting with temperature and humidity over time.

The desk has a lever to pull out another section of the desk. The lever is sturdy and is in perfect positioning. When pulling the drawer pull on the second surface tier, the base legs split into another pair of legs to support another portion of the desk. Within this portion of the desk, the first thing that shows is another desktop made of leather that slides in and out. The leather does show ink stains and light pen scratches due to wear. Pushing the desktop up, there are compartments to place utensils. There is a crack at the bottom of the compartments that is intact. The base of the leather desk is nice and sturdy and in good condition. There are slight scratches and nicks on the bottom portion of the legs but nothing major.

The leathered writing surface also conceals, when lifted, an assortment of compartments and storage for paper, pens, and pencils. Overall though this desk is in good working condition. Since it is more than 250 years old, there are cracks, ink blotches, and various nicks throughout. However, they neither take away from the beauty nor the working ability of this desk.

Open: Height= 49 in., Width= 30 in., Depth= 43 in.
Closed: Height= 34.5 in., Width= 38.5 in., Depth= 25.5 in.
Weight= 90 lbs.

Product Enquiry