Sturdy Wood

Juergen R. – BureauJuergen R.’s large bureau has stood the test of time. It originally belonged to his grandfather who passed away in 1980. After 1981, the old farmhouse in which Juergen’s grandparents had lived was left empty for several years. As a teenager, Juergen checked on it daily to ensure everything was in order; often fixing leaks in the roof or broken doors and windows, which suffered many break-ins. When the house was sold, Juergen kept the desk for himself, but was only able to take it into his own flat in the early 1990s. There, it survived a fire that destroyed part of Juergen’s apartment building and flat in 1994. Afterwards, he decided to have the desk restored to its original beauty.

In 2000, Juergen left Germany for six months when his company sent him on a temporary assignment to Britain. He decided to stay in the UK and moved here permanently in 2001. Three years later he bought a house in Watford, Hertfordshire and was finally able to bring the huge desk over from Germany. A logistical feat, the bureau eventually arrived in his house at four in the morning after a fifteen-hour drive.

For Juergen, the bureau is a special piece of furniture that links him to his grandparents and which acts as a reminder of his persistence as a teenager. Had he not put so much effort into keeping it safe many years back, the desk would not be standing in his house today. It is also particularly intriguing to his six-year-old daughter; she often asks about her great-grandfather who was born a long time ago in 1899.

Object Information

  • Year Received: 1983
  • Year of Production: about 1860 – 1870
  • Producer: Unknown
  • Material: Root wood veneer
  • Size: 1.6 m x 1.7 m x 0.8 m
  • Colour: Brown