19th Century Louis XV drop front desk.
The inside of the Louis XV drop front desk has two compartments and three drawers. The leather on the writing top is original.
The first drop front desks were made in Spain during the 16th century. This ancestor of more recent versions was called a vargueño, which included a fitted desk mounted atop a carved stand of sorts or another piece of furniture similar to a chest.
Fancy French versions of the fall-front desk were made during the late 1700s, referenced as the Secrétaire à Abattant (French for “writing desk with flap”). These have the same type of vertical fold-down writing platforms with storage areas hidden behind them.
During the reign of Napoleon III the 18th century furniture styles revived. Cabinetmakers used the 18th century design vocabulary and transformed it in new furniture models. The exact model and size of this “secretaire a abattant” was not used during the 18th century. Nevertheless, it shows the typical features of a Louis XV furniture piece: curved design, with exquisite marquetry and sumptuous bronze fittings.
Details of this piece
The desk measures 48.2 x 23 x 13 inches. It is in very good condition.
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