Traveling lap desk, ca. 1760
Photo by Peter Harholdt,...
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004 (before conservation)

  • Overview
  • Description
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The lap desk, also called a traveling desk, is a shallow mahogany box with a broad, hinged lid that slopes to provide a writing surface. Maple stringing outlines the edges of the upper surface. The sloping lid is faced with an inset sheet of felt or baize (not original). Within the desk box is a large open area, and small drawers. On each side of the exterior is a single small drawer that locks from the exterior and the interior.

Some hardware was missing; other pieces were later replacements. Note that the attribution to England is based on the use of mahogany throughout the construction.

Connection to Franklin
believed owned by him Terms of Use Credits