English antique walnut escritoire

English antique walnut escritoire of the William & Mary period Ca.1690

Height: 63″
Width: 37″
Depth: 20″
Ca.: 1690

This item is now sold


A rare small size English antique walnut escritoire of the William & Mary period Ca. 1690.
The frieze containing a full length convex ‘bible drawer’ beneath a bold cavetto cornice.
The beautifully veneered and feather banded fall supported by the original steel hinges with a later green baize writing surface.
Fully fitted behind the fall with numerous small drawers flanking a central cupboard, in turn revealing fitted secret drawers all with the original gilt brass drop handles.
The base of this English antique walnut escritoire has two short and two long drawers all with herringbone veneers.
Bun feet replaced.
Lovely original colour.

This form of writing cabinet first appeared in Europe in the 16th century becoming popular in the late 17th century with the accession to the English throne of King William 111 1650-1702 and Queen Mary 11. In the early 18th century escritoires became gradually replaced by the bureau bookcase as fashions changed with the accession of Queen Anne 1665-1702.
Escritoires of this period were sometimes referred to as ‘scrutoires’ a term derived from medieval French or ‘scriptorium’ from medieval Latin.

The rare small proportions of this escritoire places this late 17th century walnut escritoire in a class all of its own. The vast majority of these were 3’6 wide, or more. In 50 years of dealing we have only ever had one other of this rare small size.