COLLECTION: Household Accessories

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Writing Lap Desk

1775-1815
Origin: England
OH (closed): 7"; OW: 16"; D (closed): 10 1/16"; H (open): 5"; OD (open): 20 1/8"
Mahogany, oak, brass, and bone or ivory
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1950-380
Appearance: Rectangular box that folds open to reveal a slanted writing surface covered in green baize with three square sections along the top for ink wells, etc., and a rectangular dished pen tray; exterior of box has four brass bands around each corner, an inset brass plaque in the center of the top, brass carrying handles at each end, and an ivory or bone diamond keyhole escutcheon; a drawer with an inset brass ring pull is set into one end of the box and secured with a pin through the top of the drawer front that is accessed when box is open; top and bottom halves of writing surface lift to reveal storage areas below.

Construction: Corners of box are mitered and possibly dovetailed; Drawer has standard dovetail construction corners; oak bottom boards with front to back grain orientation are glued into rabbets in the bottom edges of the front, sides, and back boards.

Woods: Mahogany, secondary wood oak, brass hardware and inlay.