Linley is one of the world’s finest makers of wood products, furniture and accessories. Chairman David Linley founded the business in 1985 with the aim of designing and manufacturing furniture of the highest quality. And he has achieved it – but it’s their bespoke Architectural desks and boxes that are truly exceptional and nothing short of amazing.
Architectural Desks and Boxes
Although many people may know of Linley and their beautiful consumer products and home decor, their private bespoke commissions are not as well known. These pieces are so amazing, I wanted to bring them to your attention.
Beautiful writing desks and boxes are constructed to emulate well-known buildings and private homes for private clients. Constructed of various woods and leathers, the desks and boxes are filled with secret compartments and exquisite detailing.
Each commissioned piece at LINLEY is borne of an idea – it might be a photograph, an image, a moment – and from that starting point the client and the LINLEY designer work in collaboration to create a truly unique masterpiece of design and craftsmanship.
“For a piece to progress from the workshop to the client, it must have been imaginatively designed, hand-made using the highest levels of craftsmanship and finished impeccably. It must be the best of the best.” -David Linley
LOG CABIN DESK
Created to emulate the owner’s actual hillside cabin, the custom commissioned Linley Log Cabin Desk is a marvel of detail and craftsmanship. The craftsmen worked closely with the bespoke team at Linley to recreate the unusual home.
Constructed in Cherry wood and Macassar ebony with box wood detailing and grey veneers, the Log Cabin demonstrates the imaginative design and precision for which Linley is known.
The façade of the architectural box bears delicately detailed doors and windows crafted using marquetry inlay.
Linley architectural boxes are designed to be functional. The log cabin is no different; secret drawers and hidden compartments have been designed to hold jewelry, watches and small trinkets.
MONTE CARLO DESK
This beautiful writing desk features the distinctive Monte Carlo casino as its central gallery, with stylized archways on either side. Constructed in American walnut with inlays of Santos rosewood and sycamore, the desk is covered in dark red leather.
Adding an element of surprise, over six secret drawers are hidden within, each one released by a different mechanism – ideal for hiding the winnings.
The facade of the architectural box bears marquetry detailing in various veneers representing the windows, columns, galleries and balusters of the casino.
Reminding us of its inspiration, the desk features special references to the activities of the casino and its history. These include a marquetry depiction of playing cards and die as well as a laser etched portrait of its founder, Charles III of Monaco.
HORSE GUARD’S PARADE DESK
Created in celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, the desk is constructed by hand in walnut with inlays of rosewood and satinwood stringing. It sits atop eight Doric column legs with gold plated capitals adorning the frieze detailing. The surface of the desk is covered in the finest Italian leather.
A walnut and sycamore architectural miniature of the distinctive Horse Guard’s building designed by William Kent in 1745 dominates the top of the desk. The accurately placed windows, doors and brickwork are distinguished by intricate marquetry inlay.
A nest of secret drawers and concealed compartments is hidden within the desk, one will reveal a beautiful diamond if found. Several drawers and compartments feature surprise marquetry details such as a Union Flag, pictures of the Queen and images of the Horse Guards themselves.
HIGHCLERE CASTLE BOX
Constructed in maple with burr maple, ripple maple and quilted maple details, this architectural box is made up of 10,944 individual pieces of marquetry which have been meticulously selected and pieced together by one of LINLEY’s highly skilled craftsmen.
The decorative stonework round the roof is laser cut and etched in maple while the seventy two square finials are turned on an ornamental lathe which ensures symmetry on each piece.
Lined in faux suede, the jewellery box consists of three main drawers and, in LINLEY signature style, there is a secret drawer hidden within the box which demonstrates the excellence and precision of LINLEY design and craftsmanship.
An architectural representation of Monticello, the former home of the 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson. Over the years, Linley has developed an area of expertise in creating architectural boxes which interpret, in miniature form, buildings of historical significance, or of personal importance to a client.
Constructed in sycamore stained to various degrees and fiddle back douka, the humidor is opened by lifting the roof of the building. Secret compartments within reveal cigar cutters and matches.
Jefferson was hugely inspired by the work of the Italian architect, Andrea Palladio. His creation of Monticello nods to Palladio’s Villa Cornaro with a projecting loggia, ocular windows and Tuscan columns.
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE BOX
Over the years, Linley has developed expertise in creating scaled versions of famous architectural buildings, in this instance, the iconic Royal Opera House has been interpreted as a keepsake box. Based upon the 1858 version of the theatre designed by Edward Middleton Barry, the box is constructed primarily in sycamore with walnut, grey sycamore, Indian ebony, lacewood and tabu inlays. The interior is lined in red faux suede to reflect the opulent red interior of the opera house.
The striking Royal Opera House crest is inlaid in walnut marquetry on the roof of the box which lifts to reveal removable compartments for storing precious jewels. On the underside of the lid, made up of coloured veneers, is a marquetry interpretation of the ceiling in the main hall of the opera house.
In 2006, David (below) took up the position of Honorary Chairman for Christie’s Europe, Middle East, Russia & India, in addition to his role as Chairman of LINLEY. In this role he is responsible for leading the Chairman’s office in the United Kingdom, working with Christie’s specialists on developing the business and client relationships both in the UK and internationally.
all images, as well as product descriptions, are courtesy of Linley