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Writing Desk

Date: ca. 1730
32 3/16 x 77 x 39 1/4 in. (81.8 x 195.6 x 99.7 cm.)
Medium: oak and walnut carcase veneered with kingwood; gilt bronze mounts; modern leather top.
Credit Line: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Inscription: A typewritten rectangular paper label inside the central drawer: Louis XV TABLE BUREAU / ..x. Coll'n Bishop of Toledo. Duveen label: 24903.
Object Number: 13.4
Label Text:The fine bronze mounts, loosely recalling Asian pavilions, that decorate this desk have led scholars to attribute it to the so-called Pagoda Master, an as-yet-unidentified cabinetmaker active in Paris in the 1730s. The fascination with Asian ornament, or chinoiserie, developed as trade routes to the East brought artifacts and other examples of Chinese and Japanese design to Europe. This desk combines Asian-inspired escutcheons with traditional European subject matter, seen in the allegorical heads and masks mounted along the legs and side panels.
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