Bureaux and Desks
While some people use the words bureau and desk interchangeably today, they are two different pieces of furniture. A bureau has sloped, fall front with drawers or a stand below whereas a desk has flat writing surface with drawers and cupboards below. Bureaux were popular from the Queen Anne to Chippendale periods and the best examples are veneered in burr walnut or beautifully figured mahogany with elaborate interiors of pigeon holes and drawers arranged around a central door. Desks gain popularity in the Chippendale period and still one of the most desirable pieces of furniture. A good partners desk will have a generous kneehole to sit at with drawers in the frieze and cupboards or drawers in the pedestals. The finest desks of the Regency and Nineteenth Century are made by Gillows and Holland.