Detail of Slant Front Desk, 1700-1725, Philadelphia

By Erin Anderson, WPAMC Class of 2020

One of the oldest desks in Winterthur’s collection is a beautiful walnut slant-front desk in the William and Mary style. Slant-front desks are essentially an evolution of older forms of furniture. Desk boxes, also called “Bible boxes” were semi-portable writing surfaces. These were followed by the desk on frame which essentially fitted a desk box onto a standing frame, elevating it to a height at which one could sit and write comfortably.

Despite being three-hundred years old, this desk still had some secrets left to be revealed … imagine my surprise upon opening up one of the secret drawers and finding a hidden note!

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