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Superb George III style "Althorp Partners Desk" Flame Mahogany 20th C

Superb George III style " Althorp Partners Desk" Flame Mahogany 20th C Sold

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We are pleased to be able to offer for sale this striking late 20th Century example of an antique George III style flame mahogany serpentine Althorp partner’s desk. 

This wonderful desk is crafted from a rich mahogany which has got a lovely deep patina. Mahogany is considered one of the best and most durable woods for making furniture and has been used for centuries not only for furniture but also ship building, house building and is at the core of just about every 19th century jewellery box, vanity box and dressing case. The Victorian fashion was to dress the mahogany with decorative veneers, an example of which can be seen on this desk.

This handsome serpentine desk features a moulded edge, a caramel brown gilt tooled leather inset top and has been manufactured in three sections: the top and two separate pedestals, making it easier to transport and install. Each side has three frieze drawers, a pedestal with four drawers and a pedestal with a cupboard. There is a central shaped modesty panel between the pedestal which compliments the design of the desk beautifully, and the desk is raised on serpentine plinth bases

This desk was inspired by a pair of back to back kneehole desks, Circa 1870 that are located in the South Drawing room at Althorp House.

From a collection inspired by furniture within Althorp House, endorsed by Earl Spencer and bearing the Althorp Coat of Arms.


In really excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 76 x Width 178 x Depth 122

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 6 inches x Width 5 feet, 10 inches x Depth 4 feet, 0 inches

Althorp is a Grade I listed stately home, estate and small civil parish in Daventry District, Northamptonshire, England of about 13,000 acres. By road it is about 6 miles northwest of Northampton and 75 miles northwest of London.

It has been held by the prominent aristocratic Spencer family for more than 500 years, and has been owned by Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer since 1992. It was also the home of Lady Diana Spencer, later Princess of Wales ) from her parents divorce until her marriage to Charles, Prince of Wales.

Flame Mahogany

Thomas Sheraton - 18th century furniture designer, once characterized mahogany as "best suited to furniture where strength is demanded as well as a wood that works up easily, has a beautiful figure and polishes so well that it is an ornament to any room in which it may be placed." Matching his words to his work, Sheraton designed much mahogany furniture. The qualities that impressed Sheraton are particularly evident in a distinctive pattern of wood called "flame mahogany."

The flame figure in the wood is revealed by slicing through the face of the branch at the point where it joins another element of the tree.

Angelica Kauffman, RA (1741 - 1807)

was a Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Though born as "Kauffmann", Kauffman is the preferred spelling of her name in English; it is the form she herself used most in signing her correspondence, documents and paintings.

While Kauffman produced many types of art, she identified herself primarily as a history painter, an unusual designation for a woman artist in the 18th century. History painting, was considered the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during this time period. Under the direction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy made a strong effort to promote history painting to a native audience who were more interested in commissioning and buying portraits and landscapes.

Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in British society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the British had towards history painting. Ultimately she left Britain for the continent, where history painting was better established, held in higher esteem and patronized.

The works of Angelica Kauffman have retained their reputation. By 1911, rooms decorated with her work were still to be seen in various quarters. At Hampton Court was a portrait of the duchess of Brunswick; in the National Portrait Gallery, a self-portrait. There were other pictures by her at Paris, at Dresden, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, in the Alte Pinakothek atMunich, in Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn (Estonia).


is a hard and durable wood with a satinlike sheen, much used in cabinetmaking, especially in marquetry. It comes from two tropical trees of the family Rutaceae (rue family). East Indian or Ceylon satinwood is the yellowish or dark-brown heartwood of Chloroxylon swietenia.

The lustrous, fine-grained, usually figured wood is used for furniture, cabinetwork, veneers, and backs of brushes. West Indian satinwood, sometimes called yellow wood, is considered superior. It is the golden yellow, lustrous, even-grained wood found in the Florida Keys and the West Indies.

It has long been valued for furniture. It is also used for musical instruments, veneers, and other purposes. Satinwood is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.

Our reference: 08713