Antique Coromandel Wood Writing Slope, circa 1855
There is something about writing slopes that seems to capture my imagination. They are quite romantic objects, conjuring up the act of private correspondence or even poetic jottings. They have been around for over 200 years. Designed to be desks packed into a box, they were used on journeys, military campaigns, sea voyages even hunting trips. They are a clever invention much like today’s laptop. A writing slope is a small box which one opens to reveal a sloping desk area. Each end of the desk lifts up to reveal a storage area for letters and paper.
This handsome writing slope, made from rare coromandel wood veneered onto mahogany, has brass stringing inlay on the lid as well as a beautifully etched brass name plaque. In the front is an equally fine brass etched inlaid escutcheon with a garland name banner. The lock however does not work.
The box opens to a richly covered original velvet and gold tooled writing surface that hinges open in two places to store stationary. To the top edge is a pen tray, a stamp tray and two original enamel topped ink wells, still with the dried ink inside. There is another brass escutcheon (again no key) which, when the panel for the stationary is lifted, reveals a secret release mechanism that opens a panel behind which are two drawers. I have seen this in action once by an antique restorer, but it frankly does not easily open….but it is there!
The box is in good condition and the original embossed and gold tooled velvet retains its good looks as well.
35 cm L x 23 cm D x 15 cm H with top open, 23 cm H