A George III mahogany partner's pedestal desk
Lot 109
A George III mahogany partner's pedestal desk
£5,000 - 7,000
US$ 7,300 - 10,000

Lot Details
A George III mahogany partner's pedestal desk
The rectangular moulded top with tooled green leather inset writing surface above a shaped kneehole flanked by four graduated drawers to each side, the reverse with similar opposing arrangement of simulated drawers, on a plinth base, with Norman Adams Ltd label to the interior right drawer and with presentation plaque, 'PRESENTED TO GENERAL SIR MILES DEMPSEY. KCB, KBE, DSO.MC, COLONEL OF THE ROYAL BERKSHIRE REGIMENT. BY OFFICERS PAST AND PRESENT NOT SERVING WITH ANY OF THE BATTALIONS, AND THEIR WIVES ON THE OCCASION OF HIS MARRIAGE, THE 2ND OF MARCH 1948', with a printed paper label to the top right hand drawer for Norman Adams Ltd, 8-10 Hans Road, SW3, and inscribed by hand 'Chippendale Period circa 1770', 140cm wide, 70cm deep, 77cm high (55in wide, 27.5in deep, 30in high).


  • Provenance:
    General Sir Miles Dempsey KCB, KBE, DSO.MC. Colonel of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

    General Sir Miles Dempsey was considered to be one of the master minds and pivotal commanders behind the famous 'D-Day' Normandy landing on 6th June 1944, formally operation Overlord. Little has been known about the General who led many operations during both world wars until recently when the first major biography regarding his life and career was published two years ago.
    Miles Dempsey was born in New Brighton, Cheshire in 1896. A keen sportsman who played cricket for both school and the army, after graduating from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1915 He joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment as a young officer and fought on the western front for which He was awarded the Military Cross for bravery in the field.
    Deciding on the Army as a career, Miles Dempsey stayed on after the war and had risen to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by September 1939. Sent to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force, Dempsey as commander of the 13th Infantry Brigade played a key role acting as rear guard protection for the evacuation of Dunkirk. For his role and leadership He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
    By 1942 Dempsey had been promoted to lieutenant General and given command of 13th of the 8th Army under the leadership of Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery. In this capacity General Dempsey planned and orchestrated the very successful attack on Sicily in July 1943. This allowed Allied troops cross into Italy and begin there major assault on the Italian mainland.
    It was at this time that General Dempsey became noted for his extraordinary ability in combined operations. Focusing on the attention to detail with regard to all units under his command, and a real focus on the task in hand. It was no surprise therefore when Dempsey was personally chosen by Field Marshall Montgomery, to plan and oversee the 2nd Army's assault of the D-Day landings 6th June 1944. General Dempsey was in command of British 2nd Army with a combined total, at its height of around 500,000 men. It was part of this force which led the very successful assaults on Gold, Juno and Sword beaches. The fierce fighting along the Normandy beaches has been well documented, but these breakthroughs allowed in turn the liberation of Brussels and Antwerp with the 2nd army reaching the river Rhine in May 1945.
    A highly competent officer who very much preferred to lead away from the spot light, in stark contrast to the American General George Patton who can be viewed as a classic military extrovert. It is of testament to General Dempsey's character and qualities that during the Normandy campaign He became the first person to be knighted in the field by King George VI since Agincourt in 1415.

    After the war, Dempsey was appointed as the military commander of the Middle East in 1946.and General Dempsey married Viola O'Reilly on March 2nd 1948. General Dempsey was made the honorary Colonel of His regiment the Royal Berkshire Regiment from 1946-1956 and retired from the army in 1947.He died in June 1969.

    The engraved silver plaque inside the top drawer shows that it was as Colonel of his Regiment; The Royal Berkshire Regiment That this desk was given as a gift to the couple on the occasion of their wedding from all officers and their wives in the Regiment.
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  1. Guy Savill
    Specialist - English Furniture and Works of Art
    Unit 1, Sovereign Park
    London, United Kingdom NW10 7QP
    Work +44 20 8963 2848
    FaxFax: +44 (0) 020 8963 2805
  2. Sally Stratton
    Specialist - English Furniture and Works of Art
    Unit 1, Sovereign Park
    London, United Kingdom NW10 7QP
    Work +44 20 8963 2847
    FaxFax: +44 (0) 020 8963 2805
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