Vintage Desks to Gawk at or Giggle About

So, I’m relaxing here on a Sunday and for no reason other than that I love what I do, I decided to peruse the fabulous offerings of 1st Dibs (that’s the global on-line marketplace where designers can shop for antique, mid century modern and vintage furnishings). I’m just noodling around on the site, looking at desks and sipping my caramel vanilla coffee. Here are my fun findings. Join me to figure out where and when a savvy designer would and could  use these pieces – and for which fictitious client. The furnishings themselves span the gamut from the ridiculous to the sublime. I present to you Vintage Collectable Desks to Gawk At or Giggle About.

This Art Deco Zebra Wood desk, listed at $6,800, is fabulous looking for the client who wants to mix deep modern upholstery, a touch of graphic pattern, crystal chandeliers and  touches of deco glam. I’m feeling a city client here, not a suburban one.

art deco desk

This next desk is perfect for the client you just don’t want to work for. Ever again. It screams “Please fire me as your designer.” The desk is called the “Rustic 19th Century German Horn Knee Desk” and is priced at $48,000. There’s so much to say about this desk…but I’m a lady.

rustic horn desk

Now on another note, this Chrome & Glass Desk is a marvelous looking retro collectable piece, priced at $6,800. We could work this into about 9 billion interiors to great effect – from the modern to the

This little ditty of a desk and chair – price unknown – are perfect for the client who doesn’t really want to concentrate and who you don’t really like all that much. Doris Day would have put this into Rock Hudson’s apartment in “Pillow Talk.”

carved desk

Back to beauty. There is so much to love about this next desk. You’re seeing the  “approach” view of Paulo Buffa’s Alder Desk priced @ $19,700 circa 1940. Stunning. I see this in the perfect pied-a-terre which expansive high floor city views of Manhattan, Philadelphia or Los Angeles.

Paulo Buffa Alder Desk

I’m not entirely sure what happened here, but it wasn’t good. This desk is  listed as “The Unusual Plantation Writing Desk and Curiosity Cabinet.” When I was a QVC on-camera show host and had to present something that I thought was devoid of beauty or even one redeeming feature, I would liberally sprinkle the words “unusual” or “unique” throughout my presentation (my friend’s mother figured this out after watching me for 2 years). Clearly, somebody else thought of this strategy, too as noted in the 1st Dibs title given herein. This “unusual” desk is listed @ $19,500. All I want to know is, what’s with the hole in the center of the two towers, do you think? Puppet Show?

Unusual Plantation Writing Desk

Ok just one more. Let’s end on a good note. This next desk is a stunner is called “The Fine Keyhole Desk” and is listed for $198,000. I’m going for beauty here…not budget. See all of those finely curved wood surfaces as well as inlay using rare exotic woods? They’ll cost you. It’s also circa 1850. That’ll cost you too. But on a Sunday 1st Dibs stroll here in my workout clothes and stocking feet – we’re playing with “monopoly money” anyway. So let’s take two. Tell us which one is your favorite – good or bad?

Fine Keyhole Desk