Antike Sekretäre des Biedermeier

Antique secretaries

Antique secretaries : stylish and sustainable. Combine quality and aesthetics, offer practical storage space and give every room a special touch.

Antique secretaries in focus:
A comprehensive overview

Originally, antique secretaries or desks were used to neatly store writing utensils and papers. With increasing literacy and improved availability of paper, the demand for this furniture increased. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the design of secretaries continued to evolve, with additional features such as drawers, compartments and bookshelves being added.

How do you recognize a secretary?

Antique secretaries are usually recognizable by their characteristic combination of writing surface and cupboard. They often have a writing surface that folds down and, when opened, reveals compartments, drawers and sometimes even a hidden interior. Roll-up or cylinder secretaries in particular are remarkable masterpieces. These unique pieces are characterized by a rolling writing surface that can be opened by rolling upwards. Underneath there is usually a leather-covered writing surface combined with compartments and drawers.

Secretaries made by the English, German and French are individual works of art and reflect the different styles and preferences of their makers. English secretaries are often characterized by robust construction and traditional embellishments such as ball feet and Chippendale fittings. German secretaries, on the other hand, are known for their precision and quality craftsmanship, with a focus on functionality and elegance in the Biedermeier style. French secretaries are often particularly sophisticated in design, showing influences from various styles such as Baroque, Rococo, Empire and Louis Philippe, with particular attention being paid to details such as gilded decorations and curved legs.

What do antique secretaries look like?

Antique secretaries or desks present a variety of styles and designs, shaped by the era and cultural influences of their time. They range from simple and functional to opulent and ornate. They are usually made of high-quality woods such as mahogany, oak or walnut and feature ornate decorations, elegant legs and ornate handles. The writing surfaces are often lined with leather or felt and offer ample space for writing letters or working on a laptop. Sloping-flap secretaries are a notable type that has been known since about 1740 and is often found in tabernacle secretaries. They usually feature a chest of drawers on which a box with a sloping flap is placed. This sloping flap serves as a writing surface that can be conveniently opened.Tabernacle secretaries or top secretaries are characterized by additional storage space in the form of a top with drawers and a central door called a tabernacle. This style is known for its elaborate design and ornamentation, which often includes religious motifs or symbols and creates a special atmosphere. Writing desks are another notable type of secretaire, where the front of a drawer opens to reveal a writing surface. The back of this drawer usually contains smaller drawers for additional storage space. These writing desks are designed to be particularly functional and offer an elegant solution for smaller spaces

What sizes are available?

The size of antique secretaries can vary depending on the model, style and intended purpose. Some antique secretaries are compact and offer limited storage space, while others are larger and may include additional drawers, compartments and shelves. The height of an antique secretaire is often in the range of about 100 to 150 centimeters, although the width and depth may vary depending on the design. It is important to keep an eye on the dimensions to ensure that the secretaire fits the intended space and serves the desired purpose. Secretaries come in a variety of shapes, from small to large desks. Some secretaries are the same width as they are tall, offering a compact and space-saving solution, while others are vertical and appear almost twice as tall as they are wide. This variety of sizes and shapes makes it possible to select an antique secretaire to suit individual space needs and aesthetic preferences.

Today’s value

Antique secretaries are popular with collectors and enthusiasts alike and are seen as symbols of status and elegance. They are often passed down through generations as family heirlooms. The value of an antique secretaire depends on various factors such as age, condition and rarity.

Well-preserved antique desks can fetch high prices at auctions or in antique shops. They are also popular with interior designers and homeowners who appreciate their beauty and functionality.