Author Topic: Portable Slope Writing Desk - The "Laptop" of the 18th Century  (Read 1069 times)

Ronald Young

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Does anyone know of 17th or 18th period American maker of Slope Writing Desks similar to Thomas Jefferson's portable writing desk that has appeared in several publications? I am interested in making one of the more complicated types, with lots of hidden compartments, as seen in the portable English made slope desks.This may be a uniquely English form unknown in America.

Dale Ausherman

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Re: Portable Slope Writing Desk - The "Laptop" of the 18th Century
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 11:04:22 AM »
Ronnie:

There was an interesting Lap Desk discussed at the 2016 Winterthur Furniture Forum. Check out:

http://museumcollection.winterthur.org/single-record.php?resultsperpage=20&view=catalog&srchtype=advanced&hasImage=&ObjObjectName=&CreOrigin=&Earliest=&Latest=&CreCreatorLocal_tab=&materialsearch=&ObjObjectID=&ObjCategory=&DesMaterial_tab=&DesTechnique_tab=&AccCreditLineLocal=&CreMarkSignature=&recid=1997.0018 A&srchfld=&srchtxt=1997.0018&id=4a8e&rownum=1&version=100&src=results-imagelink-only#.WQiT54WcHGg



There are many photo views of the object at this link, but little textual info. This object has inlays for something like 24 different wood species. I checked my notes and cannot determine if this box was made in America. Via email I will send contact information for the speaker, who is still at Winterthur.

Dale

JBRowe

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Re: Portable Slope Writing Desk - The "Laptop" of the 18th Century
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 08:58:39 PM »
I have a writing desk that's similar, all mahogany construction and from the SC area.  It was my great grandparents and includes a drawer on the side which locks with a pin that can be removed when the desk is open.  I cannot prove it but believe it was made in South Carolina, possibly Charleston as that's where my relatives are from.  No maker's name on it, unfortunately.