Wood, brass, metal, textile, glass, ivory, wax
Desk: 7 1/2 x 20 x 11 3/4 in. (19.1 x 50.8 x 29.8 cm)
impressed: on top of lock: "[crown]/PATENT" impressed: around edge of ink bottle cap: "NEPLUS ULTRA" incised: on stamp (backwards): difficult to read
Rectangular wooden veneered writing desk with flat, hinged lid, rounded edges bound in brass, border defined by thin inlaid strip of brass with decorative fleur-de-lis motifs inside each corner, panel of darker wood at center, brass handles with elaborately shaped mounts flush with each side of desk, and circular brass lock on front of desk; one handle functions as pull for additional drawer that stretches full length of desk; desk opens out to reveal slanted writing surface covered in brown velvet, leading up to set of five compartments at highest end of open desk, with thin compartment extending length of desk in between; one end of writing surface lifts up to reveal compartment containing two red leather wallets, other end attached at each side with brass latch; other compartments contain two pieces of red sealing wax, metal key, colorless glass ink bottle with brass lid, seal with long shaft, pencil stub, ink pen, and flat ivory spatula; also, wooden lid at one corner with ivory pull.
According to accession records, this writing desk belonged to Captain William Cleveland (1777-1842), great-grandfather of the donor, and was brought from Canton, China in 1833.
Gift of Hayward Cleveland
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.