This is a beautiful lap desk or writing slope, made of papier mache, from the mid 19th century.
The desk has a lovely inlaid mother of pearl floral design on the lid. It also has extensive gilding. Although unmarked, the front design is reminiscent of the works of Jennings and Betridge, the famous English manufacturer of similar products. The lid has a very nice scalloped edge, adding to its elegance.
The box is lined in red velvet and even retains the original ink bottle. Found inside was a handwritten note stating the provenance of the piece; how charming. The original key is also with the piece, with a working lock.
The desk measures 10" by 8" when closed and stands 4" at its highest point. There is very minor crazing and paint wear. The velvet lining is still fairly bright. One back edge corner is chipped and the escutcheon, which was probably mother of pearl, is missing. I have priced it appropriately. Any apparent scratching on the papier mache is highly exaggerated by the reflective nature of lacquer finish to flash photography. This writing slope makes a wonderful presentation, and would look lovely on ones desk or table.
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