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Desk 1580 - 1790

Wood, black lacquer, gold and silver lacquer, mother of pearl, leather, gilt metal mounts | 110.5 x 95.5 x 55.4 cm (whole object) | RCIN 31187

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As European furniture styles changed, expensive Japanese lacquer panels were removed from outdated chests or cabinets and added to new pieces. In this case, the domed lid of a coffer from the Momoyama period (1573–1615) has been used for a French roll-top desk. The existing curve of the coffer meant it could be incorporated without the need to steam and bend the fragile lacquer.