A grant of just over £780,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) has enabled the Charles Dickens Museum in London to purchase the world-famous author’s desk and chair. Since his death in 1870, Charles Dickens’ desk and chair has become almost totemic of the man. So much so, this particular desk and chair which he used in his final home, Gad’s Hill Place in Kent, are depicted in two paintings begun in the year of this death – The Empty Chair by Luke Fildes and Dickens’ Dream by RW Buss.

Illustration The Empty Chair by Luke Fildes

The items were passed through the Dickens family after his death before being auctioned for the Great Ormond Street Charitable Trust in 2004. They are currently in private ownership and could have been sold at public auction if they had not been bought by the Museum. The desk and chair are on display at the Charles Dickens Museum in London.

Charles Dickens' desk and chair at the Charles Dickens Museum London

Robert Moye, Director of the Charles Dickens Museum, said: “We are delighted to have been able to acquire Charles Dickens’s iconic writing desk and chair for permanent display in his Study at 48 Doughty Street. They hold a unique place in our literary heritage and, as we embark on our exhibition exploring The Mystery of Edwin Drood, it is timely that the desk he used when writing his final novel has been secured for the benefit of all our visitors.”

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