Traveling writing desk

Paris, c. 1780-1790
Mahogany, steel, gilt bronze
Bequest of Monsieur Etienne Moreau-Nélaton in memory of his father, 1927
Inv. 25881
© Les Arts Décoratifs

If you would like to use this image, please contact the picture library at Les Arts Décoratifs

This writing desk has a steel base that could be dismantled, allowing it to be stored in a chest. Mechanical furniture had first appeared in the mid-eighteenth century, but experienced a new boom with pieces designed for traveling – a must for anyone who shared the philosophy of the Enlightenment.

The austerity and beauty of mahogany and steel – modern materials at that time - provided sufficient decoration for these furniture items whose appeal lay in their technical perfection.

Les Arts Décoratifs, 107, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
tél. : +33 (0)1 44 55 57 50