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National Museum of Australia

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Lacquered wooden travelling writing desk used by Sir Frederick Holder

1988.0012.0001.001

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Lacquered wooden travelling writing desk used by Sir Frederick Holder

Object information

Physical description

Painted and lacquered wooden travelling writing desk-cabinet. The top, which slopes downwards towards the front, is formed from two slightly-boxed doors that hinge outwards. Inside the cabinet are fixed unlidded compartments, and one removable six-compartment unlidded box that has three finger-holes in its front panel. In the front of the desk below the doors is a slide-out table for writing on, and it has a black cloth-covered panel set into it. Its four handles are missing. Below the table is a drawer. The inner surfaces except for the top edges of the doors, lower half of the right hand door and central top edges, and the underside of the table, are painted with metallic gold paint speckled over black lacquer. The top edges of the slot compartments are painted with plain gold paint. All of the outer-facing surfaces, except the base, are painted with black lacquer, inlaid with metal figuring and/or paint work. Mostly its in gold but red and green are also used. Scenes depict; butterflies and flowers [back and sides]; a rooster, foliage and Chrysanthemum flowers [lefthand door]; and a hen, three chicks, foliage and Chrysanthemum flowers; a blossomed branch and a Wisteria vine[?]. On the front edge of the writing table is a geometric pattern. On either side of the tendril-shaped handle, which has a leaf-shaped backplate, there is a different flower and foliage scene.

Object information

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