This secrétaire or secretary desk was given to me by my wonderful Aunt a few years ago. She moved abroad about 13 years ago as a missionary and is still there today. This piece was in storage for years and she feared it would ruin if left there so she very kindly gave it to me!
The piece is very old and heavy. My Aunt called it a secretaire, but when I researched it, it is also called a Butler’s desk. At any rate, it is beautiful! We had it shipped from Virginia to Pennsylvania and we are so glad to have it! Currently it is in our upstairs hallway, but I hope to move it to a more prominent place in our next house because it is so beautiful and unique.
The piece dates back to the 1800’s. There is a small brass plate on the inside of the drawer that says “Chubb’s Patent”. It also says, “London” and “Chubb & Son makers to Her Majesty”. I looked up Chubb & Son and their company began in 1812 and their crest ran until 1850 so this piece must date to the 1850’s or earlier. They sure knew how to make furniture back in the day! Plus, I’m curious how it ended up in the US.
It is solid wood and has the original wooden knobs and feet. The drawers are dove tailed and very well made. From the front it looks as though there are 5 drawers but there are only three. The top “2” fold down to a desk top. It would require a bar chair or stool to comfortably work at the desk. The inside is tiger wood (?) and has several drawers, compartments and 2 pull out bins for letterhead or stationary. The drawers below are large and provide great storage.
I love to see this gorgeous piece every time I go up and down the stairs. You can also catch a glimpse of it from the foyer but it really deserves a better location. I’d love to actually use it. It’s nice to know a bit of history about this piece. That is one of my favorite things about antiques! The origin and the story. I’m always thankful that so many people have taken care to preserve these treasures for future generations, and I love that my sweet Aunt gave it to me. It is in good hands.