18th Century desk owned by Duke of Wellington's favoured officer on sale with Bonhams

Gentleman's Library Sale
29 - 30 Jan 2013
London, Knightsbridge

A George III mahogany double-sided kneehole desk reputedly owned by Sir Alexander Dixon is one of a selection of desks in the upcoming Gentleman's Library sale at Bonhams, Knightsbridge on 30th January (estimate £2,000-£3,000).

Major-General Sir Alexander Dixon fought during the Napoleonic and Peninsular Wars and due to his skill and ability in battle, the Duke of Wellington held him in the highest esteem. Towards the end of the Peninsular War the Duke appointed Sir Alexander to a commander position of great responsibility in charge of 8,000 men. For his efforts during these wars and other conquests he was awarded the Knights Grand cross of the Order of the Bath.

In 1904, a valuation for Sir Alexander's son recorded a piece of mahogany camp furniture, which is believed to be the desk in question. The current vendor remains a direct relation to Sir Alexander and acquired the item of furniture from the Great, Great Granddaughter of Sir Alexander, the late Miss P. M. Burnaby.

Alongside this relic of military descent the Gentleman's Library sale boasts a pair of 18-inch Thomas Malby library globes (estimate £60,000-£80,000) and a mounted skeleton of a Pigmy hippopotamus (estimate £10,000- £15,000).


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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