Any list of desk forms and types encountered in the modern office or home, and in antique stores, is incomplete and contradictory given the variations in the naming of desks, as a simple lookup in two or three of the reference books below will demonstrate. Each article discusses the name variations and the most general article of all, desk, makes comparisons between several forms and places them in historical context.

The division between "desk form" and "desk type" presented here is arbitrary, since there is no consensus as how to differentiate function, form, type and style in these matters, as the books in the reference section below show. A form here is something rather specific, while a type can be applied to any given form or all of them.

Desk forms

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  • Armoire desk
  • Bargueño desk
  • Bible box
  • Bonheur du jour
  • Bureau à gradin
  • Bureau plat, see Writing table
  • Bureau Mazarin
  • Butler's desk
  • Carlton house desk
  • Carrel desk
  • Cheveret desk
  • Credenza desk
  • Cubicle desk
  • Cylinder desk
  • Davenport desk
  • Desk and bench
  • Desk on a chest
  • Desk on a frame
  • Dickens desk
  • Drawing table
  • Ergonomic desk
  • Escritoire
  • Fall front desk
  • Fire screen desk
  • Lap desk
  • Lectern desk
  • Liseuse desk
  • Moore desk
  • Partners desk
  • Pedestal desk
  • Plantation desk
  • Rolltop desk
  • Secretaire en portefeuille
  • Secrétaire à abattant, see Fall front desk
  • Secretary desk
  • Shtender
  • Slant top desk
  • Spinet desk
  • Standing desk
  • Tambour desk
  • Tanker desk, see Pedestal desk
  • Telephone desk
  • Trestle desk
  • Typewriter desk
  • Wooton desk
  • Writing armchair
  • Writing desk
  • Writing table

Desk types

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  • Campaign desk
  • Computer desk
  • Field desk
  • Games table desk
  • Mechanical desk
  • Metamorphic library steps which sometimes were meant to be transformed into a writing table
  • Portable desk
  • School desk
  • Student desk
  • Treadmill desk

See also these particular desks

30 | January | 2013 | "Not Yet Published"
  • Bureau du Roi
  • Henry VIII's writing desk
  • Resolute desk


30 | January | 2013 | "Not Yet Published"
  • Aronson, Joseph. The Encyclopedia of Furniture. 3rd edition. New York: Crown Publishers Inc., 1965.
  • Bedel, Jean. Le grand guide des styles. Paris: Hachette, 1996.
  • Boyce, Charles. Dictionary of Furniture. New York: Roundtable Press, 1985.
  • Comstock, Helen. American Furniture: 17th, 18th and 19th century styles. Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd. 1997
  • Duncan, Alastair. Mobilier art déco. Paris: Thames and Hudson, 2000
  • Forrest, Tim. The Bulfinch Anatomy of Antique Furniture. London: Marshall editions, 1996.
  • Hinckley, F. Lewis. A Directory of Antique Furniture: The Authentic Classification of European and American Designs. New York: Bonanza Books, 1988.
  • Moser, Thomas. Measured Shop Drawings for American Furniture. New York: Sterling Publlishing Inc., 1985.
  • Nutting, Wallace. Furniture Treasury. New York: Macmillan Publishers, 1963.
  • Oglesby, Catherine. French provincial decorative art. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1951.
  • Payne, Christopher, Ed. Sotheby's Concise Encyclopedia of Furniture. London: Conran Octopus, 1989.
  • Pélegrin-Genel, Elisabeth. L'art de vivre au bureau. Paris: Flammarion, 1995.
  • Reyniès, Nicole de. Le mobilier domestique: Vocabulaire Typologique. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale, 1987.

Antique Desks and Secretaries From the 1800's | eBay

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