Lot 11

American Oak, Walnut and Bird's Eye Maple Partner's Desk, J. Breuner, Sacramento, California

Estimate: $8,000 - $12,000
Sold for

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$200 $50
$500 $100
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$30,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000

Stamped 'J. Breuner, Manufr & Dealer in Furniture and Bedding, Nos 154, 156, 158 & 160 K St....Sacramento.' Fitted with a paper label inside of one drawer, 'KNOX COLLECTION AGENCY, 112 Sutter Street, San Francisco'. 

In three parts and raised on casters.

32 x 6 ft. x 45 in.

Note: In 1856, John Breuner opened the first furniture store in Sacramento, California. Breuner, a German cabinet maker, came to California to seek his fortune in the Gold Rush and realized that making "gold cradles" for prospectors was more lucrative than panning for gold. In 1869, John Breuner was commissioned to build one hundred twenty carved walnut desks for the California State Senate, which are still in use today. The Breuner furniture business closed in 2004 after one hundred forty-eight years in business. This desk has a label from the Knox Collection Agency. The agency was a late 19th century collections business located in San Francisco, initially on 110 Sutter Street, Room 4. The agency offered Law and Mercantile collections and was able to operate in the United States and Canada. Late 19th century furniture made in California is quite rare. 

According to a relative, this desk was purchased by Didion's parents, Frank and Eduene Didion, in an "estate-type" sale in California. It has been anecdotally associated with the California Governor's Mansion. Didion had an affinity for the Governor's Mansion, writing about it in her essay Many Mansions. Didion spent time in the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento with her friend and classmate Nina Warren, daughter of then-governor Earl Warren. 


Wear to the gilt-leather top with an age split in the center with scuffing and minor stains. Scattered veneer losses, patches and age splits throughout. Fitted with two faux cabinet doors at each end of the desk. Structurally sound. Large in scale. Not withstanding this report or any discussion concerning condition of a lot, all lots are offered and sold "as is" in accordance with our conditions of sale.