An Elaborate 19th Century Royal Italian Writing Desk With Cleverly Concealed Secret Drawers

Bill Rau of the fine art and antiques house M.S. Rau presented a stunning hand-carved writing desk and chair that were constructed for King Carlo Alberto of Sardinia in the mid-19th century (~1840). The elaborate exterior of the furniture hides numerous cleverly concealed secret drawers and hiding places within.

Cleverly concealed buttons and levers open secret drawers and panels, revealing storage spaces within the rails of the chair seat, center square of the desk, frieze, corners, carved lion’s heads and throughout the base. A writing slide pulls out from above the center drawer on one side of the desk, while the opposite side is fitted with hidden architectural interiors, each brimming with secret compartments.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.