Circa 1870, wonderful exhibition quality Edwards & Roberts two piece satinwood writing desk. The piece carries an ivory trade label with ‘Edwards & Roberts, 148-160 Wardour St., 532 Oxford Street., London’. It is quite possible that Edwards & Roberts were not the manufacturer of this desk but in fact the retailers. The top section has a wrap around shaped brass gallery with flattened balustrades, and within the top section is a beautiful pictorial image of a chariot being drawn by two mythical birds, and on the chariot a cherub with doves behind. The beaks and eyes of these mythical birds are mother of pearl. Below this are three doors, the centre door is hinged and drops down to make a little writing surface. It has a centre panel depicting Britannia – there is so much detail in this you would need a magnifying glass to appreciate the amount of work gone into this panel. There are ships at sea, Britannia on her throne, drawings and maps, musical instruments, barrels, and flowers. Outside the panel there are swags and tails which are capped with a classical urn. On the left and right hand doors are two panels with the most stylish carved urns with ram heads, flowers and a multiple of inlays. The top section has two shaped front quarter pilasters, crowned with rams heads below musical instruments and finish on a little step plinth which has multiple inlays. The drop down centre piece opens to reveal a plum pudding and satinwood inlay, inside is a satinwood drawer which has a simple knob and the rest of the interior is satinwood. The doors on the sides open to reveal similar layouts, with a satinwood and banded interior and two drawers for letters and personal effects. The main writing surface of the desk is a cornucopia of musical instruments. There are at least fifteen different instruments and sheet music which are all held with a big floral decoration. Below the writing surface are two brass handles which open to reveal a satinwood, kingwood and crossbanded writing surface which pulls out for ease of use. Below that there is a breakfront section, again festooned with the finest marquetry with floral decoration. There are two drawers on the left hand and right hand side, smothered in the finest marquetry with flowing flowers in a symmetric pattern. The table stands on four satinwood and inlaid tapering legs, which again have beautiful floral inlay. The base is united by stylish crossover stretcher with an enlarged scallop shell inlay, and the detail at the bottom of the legs is very intricate with inlays right down to the very tip of the foot.
- 113cm high x 79cm wide x 51cm deep