A beautiful and rare rosewood Tunbridge lap desk or writing slope decorated with a wide border of triangles of contrasting timbers that are known as Vandykes - a typical decorative feature in early Tunbridgeware pieces. In the centre of the lid is an inlaid oval lithograph titled 'A Favourite Song', which depicts cherubs dancing around a tree with other cherubs resting in the branches and a lady floating off into the clouds. Boxwood stringing surrounds the central panel on the lid. On the front of the box, there is an escutcheon with original key (which does not appear to be working). The lift-up lid reveals a tooled red leather writing tablet which has gilt decoration which also lifts to reveal a storage space beneath. The interior is largely lined with the original pink paper (with some staining of ink). The inside of the lid has been relined with marbled paper. The box also features a removable pen tray with space for nibs and seals, and two brass-topped inkwells. These may not be original but fit well and are not modern and the lids screw and unscrew. The base is lined with early brown patterned paper. Writing slopes of this age are a rare and treasured find and this example is in excellent condition for age. Width 11 ins (28cm), length 9 ins (23cm), maximum height 3.25 ins (8cm). Weight 1304 grams. This item appears in my book, "Antique Boxes, Inside and Out" on page 362.
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