Magnificent late 19th century Arts & Crafts burr walnut kneehole desk by Shapland & Petter of Barnstaple circa 1890, the rectangular burr walnut top with inset black and gilt tooled skived leather writing surface, above a central frieze drawer over kneehole with under desk shelf area, two drawers either side, the drawers all oak lined, each drawer with flamed burr walnut front, with original brass drop handles and escutcheons and brass locks that are stamped S,P & B., the whole supported on four square tapering supports with brass end caps and porcelain castors, constructed using the finest burr walnut veneers and quarter sawn oak throughout as you would expect from this Fine cabinet maker from the Arts & Crafts Period, a simply stunning statement piece that is light and functional, reserve now. Background: Henry Shapland had been apprenticed to a cabinet maker in Barnstaple, before travelling to America in 1851 and learning about a wave moulding machine. Back in England he was joined by Henry Petter. By 1888 the Raleigh Cabinet Works were employing hundreds of workers from Raleigh and the surrounding areas when on 5 March 1888 a fire destroyed the factory. The factory was restarted at a new site on the River Taw, a former shipbuilding yard known as Bridge Wharf. Working together as Shapland and Petter they were to become one of the town's largest employers. Although much of their output was "Arts and Crafts" in design in no way did it emulate the aspirations of William Morris, et al. They employed craftsmen but also used the most up-to-date machinery available for their products. Henry Shapland was a time-served cabinet maker and Henry Petter was an amazing salesman who found the market for their products. During World War I the firm produced shell cases, ammunition boxes and aeroplane propellers in addition to their normal furniture production. A collection of the company's products is displayed at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon. Summary: 19th century Victorian Antique Shapland & Petter Arts & Crafts Burr walnut Leather top Kneehole desk circa 1890 Beautiful Practical Condition report: Offered in wonderful French polished condition with beautiful detail, age related marks and wear, all drawers open and close smoothly, comes with one non working key with tassel Dimensions: Width 42” inches / 107 cm Depth 21” inches/ 54 cm Height 31” inches/78 cm.