Ladies Writing Desk

Ladies Writing Desk

c. 1750-75

Oak with straw marquetry

Overall: 97.2 x 76.2 x 44.5 cm (38 1/4 x 30 x 17 1/2 in.)

Gift of Grace Rainey Rogers in memory of her father, William J. Rainey 1942.40


Did you know?

The surface of this ladies writing desk is completely covered with straw marquetry decoration both outside and in.


As early as the beginning of the 17th century, straw marquetry was being produced throughout Europe. Along with cabinetmakers and specialized artisans, creators of straw marquetry included home artisans, nuns, monks, and noble dilettantes. Thus the quality and design of objects using straw marquetry is quite diverse. While some pieces appear nearly naive, others are made very masterfully, such as with this ladies writing desk. Some of these objects were even presented in royal cabinets of wonder. Because of its silky gloss and bright colors, straw marquetry was held in great esteem as unusual and remarkable decoration for furniture and other objects on par with gemstones, tortoiseshell, or ivory.

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