How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Michael Hannigan Your Own Question

Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11120
Experience:  Extensive experience in research and problem solving.
Type Your Question Here...
Michael Hannigan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is it possible to find desks or cupboards from the 700s still

This answer was rated:

Is it possible to find desks or cupboards from the 700's still around? I'm searching for information on items from a scriptorium maybe Monkwearmouth-Jarrow monastery or something in that era. I would think most furniture that old would be in a museum. Thank You
Hello. My name is Michael. I can help answer your question, but I'm not sure it's the answer you want! Although you're obviously not going into this blindly, so what I have to say won't be very shocking.

Anything made of wood from the 8th century would be extraordinarily rare, and as you mentioned, most likely in a museum.

In addition, any that do exist would be considered ancient artifacts and in most countries, laws regarding antiquities would prohibit their export.

While there are remains from the latter part of the Viking age, they are mostly fragments of the full pieces of work, and even in those cases are nearly non-existent prior to the 10th-11th centuries.

While I can't say it would be impossible to find a piece of furniture from the 8th century that you could acquire legally, It could be a lifetime search. I would be very interested in hearing your experience with trying to find something up to this point.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like to engage in additional discussion. I'm afraid I don't have a "go-to" place for this type of object, but I will certainly do anything I can to help you in your quest.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Michael, Thank You for answering so quickly. I'm in the process of writing a story, and not really looking to buy anything, but my character is supposed to be an expert in antiquities, and since this is a work of fiction, I can do what I please. But I also want to be as accurate as possible. So my character has been hired to find such an object as a desk or cupboard for manuscripts. Could you possibly give me some advise as to what kind of wood and marks, such as hand planed, signs of oxidation and patination, would there have been a veneer on such a a piece? I really would love a hidden, secret place too. Never know what one might find in such a place. If I were in England where might I find super wonderful dealers in this sort of stuff.

Thanks, XXXXX

Oh... OK. Good, Maude. That's very good. I was thinking that you were actually trying to get some 8th century furniture for yourself and I was trying to let you down softly! I had pictured you as a person wanting to install 1300 year-old kitchen cabinets. This is much more exciting. Yes... I do actually have an excellent reference for that sort of thing. As you know by now, even information on such things is a bit scarce. But here in chapter II provides some of the background for what the "furniture" of the period was like. Actually, when I read about the grand scale and ornate design, I feel funny calling it furniture.
Illustrated Hostory of Furniture

And I do have more, along with some great pictures and locations for you. I just need a little time to get them together. Much of the histroy on furniture is from around the 1400s and after. But what you are looking for is much more interesting. I will follow up with you a little bit later today.


One of the resources I was referring to earlier today with a tremendous amount of information on wood carving at the time.
Viking Furniture and
Elements of the Liturgical Furniture in an 8th-century church (NWC) in Hippos (Sussita), Israel
Here are some other examples of furniture from around that time.



In the 8th century, carved bone panels were not uncommon in some parts:
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Mike, Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX from Ill. History of Furniture, good info from Viking Age too. Glue and woods used very helpful. Any suggestions on my secret compartment located in the cupboard? From the picture it had five shelves, manuscripts were stored flat. Maybe the top decoration which I envision as two panels, a cross in relief and a rosette in a wreath

could conceal my little book which is 5inX3.6 inches. A pocket gospel. Need some kind of lever to open. A puzzle of some kind.

Thanks Maude

Puzzles are one of my specialties. It doesn't have to be real, just plausible, right?


Will the desk be in the church or monestary, or should it be self contained with the item, as it would have to be if found in a different context from its original location?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Good morning Mike. I think my cupboard is in private hands, going to be sold to another private collector. The monasteries of Lindisfarne and Wearmouth-Jarrow were kind of destroyed by the Vikings in around the 790's. I get to pick an unknown gospel to be hidden away and the missing gospel from the Codex Amiatinus, the Book of Baruch. My characters must find these books before the bad guys. They are worth many millions. As you said, something plausible, hooray for a fertile imagination. Sorry about my Vikings relatives being so naughty, at least they didn't burn down the library of Alexandria. Sob, sob.


Thanks again. Maude


LOL... good point. I'm wondering now if I might be of Viking descent.

Despite the hundreds of puzzles I've solved in video games, it's surprisingly difficult to think of one that translates to a reality that is a. Challenging and b. Plausable in the context 8th century technology!

But I saw this REAL desk, which is pretty amazing and I thought it might get the creative puzzle juices flowing.
Pipe Organ Puzzle Desk

The artis's slogan is "Building the box for others to think outside of"

I think it would be an entirely reasonable business expense, since it would be best to actually try it. It took the craftsman 5 years to make and it appears to available for purchase. Laughing

Still contemplating alternatives.

Michael Hannigan, Internet Researcher
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 11120
Experience: Extensive experience in research and problem solving.
Michael Hannigan and 44 other General Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Previous | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX

Meet The Experts:

  • Dr. Y.

    Dr. Y.


    Satisfied Customers:

    I am fellowship trained specializing in general urology and reconstructive urology.
< Last | Next >
  • Dr. Y.'s Avatar

    Dr. Y.


    Satisfied Customers:

    I am fellowship trained specializing in general urology and reconstructive urology.
  • John's Avatar


    Home Appliance Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
  • Tina's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • GM Tech (Cam)'s Avatar

    GM Tech (Cam)

    GMC Mechanic

    Satisfied Customers:

    GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
  • dermdoc19's Avatar



    Satisfied Customers:

    30 years practice in general and cosmetic dermatology
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
  • Dr. Pat's Avatar

    Dr. Pat

    Bird Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    25+ years working primarily or exclusively with birds

Related General Questions