“a sumptuous writing-desk” [SECO]
In September 2017, we shared news of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's portable writing desk, custom designed by the legendary luggage maker Goyard.
In November 2016, the desk was part of an exhibition at the Salon Art + Design show in New York and at the time it was owned by the Goyard Museum.
As of 2019, Antiques Trade Gazette reported that the Conan Doyle-designed Goyard desk was in the hands of a London antique dealer:
"Furniture and accessories designer Timothy Oulton is a collector of antique and vintage trunks and is offering this item from his own private collection. It has a price tag of £96,000 and is on view at his gallery at the Bluebird Garage in Chelsea, London."
To be clear, ATG stated that this was Conan Doyle's design, rather than his own desk:
"Only seven were made and two of these are owned by Goyard. One is in a French museum, three are in private collections (including this from Oulton). The whereabouts of the seventh is unknown."
Now we've discovered that one of these (ostensibly one of the three from a private collection) is available for sale on 1stDibs from a seller in Hong Kong.
Below are images provided by the seller (click to enlarge).
The list price is $133,400 but is currently discounted 20% to just $106,720.
Height: 35.04 in (89 cm)
Width: 19.69 in (50 cm)
Depth: 24.81 in (63 cm)
Materials and Techniques:
Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor structural damages. Minor fading. Please view the detailed pictures as they form part of the description.
Seller Location: Hong Kong, HK
Reference Number: Seller: #11419
Conan Doyle would have come into possession of his desk in 1925, which means it's just possible that the final Sherlock Holmes stories — which just entered the public domain — could have been partially written on his specially-designed desk.
So if anyone would care to purchase it, fly to Hong Kong, and test it out on a Transpacific cruise, please keep us updated.
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