The secretary desk has been a popular piece of furniture since the 17th century. Also called a ‘slant top’ or ‘drop front’ desk, this style of desk offers a great combination of storage space and beauty in a small amount of floor space.
This is a very simple, functional design that is often ornamented in two ways – veneer work on the drop front and drawers, and an elaborate interior gallery. This is the first of two articles and will focus on the case, base and large drawers. The second article details how to construct the gallery and finish the piece. Solid African mahogany was the primary species with maple as the secondary species.