New to Box House is a fine Chippendale period satinwood and marquetry desk.
The superbly controlled and delicate marquetry inlays are reminiscent of the fine decoration on the famous Diana and Minerva Commode by Chippendale at Harewood House, ca 1773. Professor Ann Sumner studied the Diana and Minerva Commode, one of Thomas Chippendale’s most famous pieces of furniture. Sumner describes the superb craftsmanship and the elegant lines of its distinctive rectilinear design, along with splayed sides and decorative motifs of swags of husks, repeated garlands of flowering acanthus leaves and radiating fans.
It is rare today to find an eighteenth-century satinwood and marquetry-inlaid desk of this quality. Most offered on the market are 19th/ 20th century. Major period satinwood pieces have become almost unobtainable.
When supplied in 1770, the various exotic inlay woods on the desk would have been stained in bright colours, now rather wonderfully soft after some 250 years of exposure. Professor Sumner describes a similar fading on the Diana and Minerva Commode with the inlay originally being predominantly pink and green, but despite the protective covers, has now faded – the original marquetry would have been much brighter.