Wooton Desks - Wooton Patent Desk Antique Reproductions - Wooton Patent Desks are superb examples of Victorian innovation in furniture design. Recreated for your collection by Glenn Furniture All Things Wood - custom made furniture from solid wood, Mahogany, Pine and Teak at affordable prices. CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD ORIGINAL LITERATURE FROM 1884 PUBLICATION.
"The King of Desks" - "Desk of the Age" - "Cabinet Office Secretary"
Owned by Presidents and Prominent Figures
"Wooton's Patent Cabinet Office Secretary" - "The King of Desks" - "Desk of the Age"
SUPERIOR Grade Wooton Desk Limited Reproduction
Newly HandCarved Design of Solid Mahogany with a Burl Walnut and Ebony Veneer Finish. Infamous and Richly Hand Carved Griffin Winged Gallery. Writing Desk with Gold Tooled Black / Green Leather Top. Solid Brass Hardware. Finely Crafted Dovetail Drawers. Numerous and Spacious Pigeonholes. Secure Mail Box.
Main Desk w/o Gallery: 56"H x 44"W x 30"D
Right Door Case: 43"H x 18.5"W x 10.75"D
Left Door Case: 44.75"H x 19.25"W x 12"D
Writing Desk Flap: 37" x 23" x 1.25"
Carved Winged Gallery: 16"H - highest point
Net Weight: 150 lbs.
Wooton Patent Desks
Wooton Patent Desks are superb examples of Victorian innovation in furniture design. Both in their construction and use, these desks reflect the transitions taking place in manufacturing and business during the 19th century. The manufacture of Wooton Desks was typical if the increasing use of mass-production techniques and woodworking machinery to produce high-quality furniture in quantities that were sufficient to take advantage of the worldwide markets made available by expanding transportation systems. The design of the desks provided an ingenious solution to the businessman's problem of organizing the increasingly voluminous paperwork created by the rapid expansion and growing complexity of business during this period. From both the business and design perspectives, a Wooton patent desk earned the sobriquet "Desk of the Age" and "The King of Desks". (It was sometimes misspelled Wooten Desk.)
The Wooton Desk Manufacturing Co. was established in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1870 by inventor, William S. Wooton, a pattern maker by trade, a former evangelist - minister, and religious organizer for the Friends Church. He saw an opportunity and vision as a furniture maker, and remained active in that business until 1893.
The company was known for a group of elaborate walnut folding desks, first patented in 1874, in the Victorian Eastlake style which were essentially self-contained offices. These elaborate cabinets came in four grades: "Ordinary," "Standard", "Extra", and "Superior". The desks were expensive, prestige furniture, even in their own time, ranging from $100 to $750 each depending on grade. They were used by prominent figures in the White House and by titans of finance and industry like J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, Ulysses S. Grant, Spencer Baird at the Smithsonian Institution, Dr. Edward Hofma, Charles Scribner, Joseph Pulitzer, and (perhaps) England's Queen Victoria owned one. Attorneys, Physicians, Political Figures, Educators, Railway Agents, Insurance Brokers, Bankers, Publishers, and Manufacturers purchased Wooton Desks.
According to the 1876 Wooton catalogue, their top line of secretaries were described as follows: "The Secretary is entirely different from anything ever constructed before. It consists of three sections, the main case and (two) wings or doors, which contain pigeon-holes, shelving, drawers, etc. convenient in arrangement and uniform in appearance. We manufacture four grades, the Ordinary, Standard, Extra and Superior, and three sizes of each grade. The ornamentation and decorative style increased with each higher grade. Its capacity is more than double that of any other desk manufactured, occupying the same floor space. Every division is within easy reach of the writer; the Secretary can be opened and closed in a moment, and when closed, the contents are secure from dust and intrusion. The lock which fastens the wings is the only one required."
In 1876, the desks were now receiving international attention. Notices and advertisements for them appeared in popular local and national newspapers, literary magazines, and business trade journals throughout the United States and Great Britain. By 1884, the desks were said to be finding their way as far as South America, Mexico, China, Japan, Egypt, Turkey, and Australia.
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