Essentially the ultimate compact office, this monumental cabinet desk was patented by Joseph Moore and the Moore Combination Desk Company in 1882 and gave the 19th-century American entrepreneur "a place for everything and everything in its place." Crafted of American walnut, this extraordinary model, known as the "Moore Insurance Desk", at first appears to be a wonderful standing desk with a leather and gilt tooled writing surface. Once opened, the desk reveals a complete and fully organized personal office within, brimming with dozens of compartments, drawers, pigeon holes and a large sliding leather-clad desktop surface from which to conduct important business. Now an executive had quick and easy access to all of his papers, often without even having to move his chair. When closed, the desk can be locked, allowing one's "office" to be safe and secure, and an exterior letter slot allowed important papers to be delivered. Moore’s cabinet desks were status symbols of the period representing wealth, importance and prosperity.
Moore’s efficient yet elegant desk design enabled the important businessman to tastefully exhibit his newly established status and these massive desks soon became synonymous with wealth and power. Significant owners of cabinet desks included President Ulysses S. Grant, John D. Rockefeller, and Joseph Pulitzer among others. Similar yet smaller desks were in great demand and were incredibly popular during the latter half of the 19th century in America. During this time, the American entrepreneur was involved in a number of ventures requiring enormous amounts of paperwork. Keeping one’s effects in order while juggling more than one business or maintaining an ever-expanding enterprise, required a large, practical desk, making the Moore patented desk a necessary luxury.
Closed: 50" wide x 43" deep x 51 1/2" high
Open: 102" wide x 31" deep
American Furniture of the 19th-Century, 1983, Eileen and Richard Dubrow
Wooton Patent Desks,1983, J. Camille Showalter & Janice Driesbach, Editors