A grant of just over £780,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund allowed the Charles Dickens Museum to make the purchase. The sum is almost double the £433,250 paid in 2008 when the desk and chair sold on behalf of the Great Ormond Street Charitable Trust at Christie's.
They had been donated to the hospital by the Dickens family. The museum said the items could have been resold at auction had they not raised the money needed. They are on display at the museum at 48 Doughty Street, where Dickens lived from 1837-39.
The mid 19th century mahogany desk and walnut chair were part of the furnishings of Gad's Hill Place in Kent where the author wrote Great Expectations and The Mystery of Edwin Drood.