The Design Gallery© All rights reserved
Arts and Crafts Desk, Drawers & Bookshelves
Desks and Writing tables are items that can be found on occasion in the Gothic-inspired style of the later 1800s that was championed by designers such as Philip Webb, Charles Eastlake and William Burgess, known as ‘Reformed Gothic’. It shows a looser interpretation of Gothic forms and motifs than seen in the earlier work of A W Pugin (referred to as ‘Gothic Revival’), as well as being less ecclesiastical in feel. Arts and Crafts desks, as typified by the output of Shapland and Petter, come in a range of forms with drawers below, and also in combination with bookshelves or display shelves above. Bureau or Secretaire bookcases, some bearing mottos to the fascia in copper or wood in highly stylised script are particularly desirable. Many bookcases, both open and glazed, incorporate a slide for resting books on at waist height, and others provided space below for displaying ceramics, glass or sculpture. Pairs of bookcases can be found from time to time. Glazed bookcases or display shelves often feature stained glass in Art Nouveau influenced designs, together with copper or brass strapwork detailing to the hinges and key escutcheons. Besides Chests of Drawers originally intended for bedroom use, drawers are found in Buffets, Side tables, Tobacco tables (ideal for repurposing as Bedside Cabinets) and a variety of other pieces intended for the living room.