Here's a lovely black lacquered wooden Victorian lap desk from around 1880. This type of desk could be taken when traveling as well. The piece is 14" long by 10" wide and the height goes from 3 3/4" in the back down to 2 1/2" in the front. The top of the desk has a beautifully shaped edge and has hand painted flowers together with lots of mother of pearl inlay. Inside the slanted writing surface are red velvet panels with a border design around the edges, and at the top are compartments. There's a slanted compartment for stamps, a long pen rest area to hold pens which then opens by pressing one side to reveal a compartment underneath for nibs and perhaps extra pens. The square compartment on the end would hold a bottle of ink. Finally, the whole half panel lifts up to hold papers etc.
The condition is quite good. Some few issues include 2 missing mother of pearl pieces around the edge of the top (not very noticeable). The large panel inside must have had a ribbon tab originally to pull up the lid of the compartment. I have to open it carefully with my finger nail. Finally there is a key hole as shown in the picture but no key.
A very attractive piece to put on your own desk or in a library perhaps. It says so much about the early days of letter writing, it's fun to picture someone using as they would have in the 19th century.
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