Lady's Writing Table

about 1785–1805

Object Place: Europe, England


83.18 cm (32 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood; satinwood, purpleheart

Not On View





Satinwood, purpleheart. The square center with a velvet-covered rising writing slope, between raised sides with stepped fronts and an arched back containing a rising screen, inlaidwith purpleheart lines; the frieze with a long drawer, on square tapering leg s united by a concave-fronted platform, inlaid with purpleheart filets and lines.

This desk is very similar to one illustrated in Thomas Sheraton’s The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book of 1791, in which it is described as a “Lady’s Writing Table.” In his design, Sheraton included a movable screen, writing: “The convenience of this table is, that a lady, when writing at it, may both receive the benefit of the fire, and have her face screened from its scorching heat.”


By 1973, Richard Milhender; 1974, Gift of Richard Milhender to the MFA.

Credit Line

Gift of Richard Milhender