Category: Other Travel Items
An exceptional, large kingwood Portable Desk, also known as a Writing Slope.
This was a high quality box when first made from the cabinet work to the use of kingwood (a timber not often seen) and it remains so today. The other woods used are mahogany for the carcass and drawer linings and some pine as a secondary wood. The box is brass edged with 3 brass stringing lines, has skeletal campaign handles and a large decorative brass escutcheon.
The top of the slope has a 'jack in a box' lift up section of drawers that can be locked in place by brass slide locks. When lifted, a sprung bar to each side is released to hold the upper section in place. To close, the hinged bars are simply pushed back to allow the section to drop. The upper section has 2 short drawers above one long drawer, all with brass lion mask handles. These handles are the same as on a rosewood version of this box we have seen. The short drawers are plain but the long drawer is split into 3 compartments and fitted as a dressing box. To the right is a small, lidded area; to the middle a mirror rests on top of an area that has 2 dividers to the back, one with a razor strop, the other probably for a comb; to the right is a velvet covered pad to hold 2 razors with a red leather lined area below divided to hold 2 small bottles. The desk tidy area is divided has a Crown Patent inkwell to either end with 3 lidded compartments to the middle. These lids are likely replacements, but the brass scallop handles are period. To the base of the right sided inkwell is a small hole. Using a tool to depress the button in the hole releases the facia board hiding 3 secret drawers. The writing area is covered in a faded green velvet and both boards are criss-crossed with ribbons to their underside. Below each board is a plain storage area.
The design of this Writing Box stands out from the majority and is further enhanced by the use of kingwood. Circa 1820.
Closed size is given.