This sleek Louis XVI style writing desk was made by Donald Ross, the celebrated furniture maker active during the Victorian period.
The desk table top is inset with a shaped brown leather panel adorned with debossed gilded detailing, creating a smoother and softer surface on which to write. Surrounding the leather panel is a dotted parquetry trellis inlay, a distinctive feature of the pieces produced by Ross. Bordered by an ormolu frame, the four edges are cast in the form of a male bearded mask amongst acanthus leaves, complementing the paired-down design of the gilt bronze sides.
Below is a pair of short frieze drawers, decorated with an identical dotted parquetry trellis pattern. The drawers are lockable, and the keyhole is framed in a circular pattern. The two drawers are divided by a central ormolu mount applique. Shaped in the form of flowing acanthus leaves, and garlands of foliage, the motifs are similar to the ormolu detailing decorating the top part of the desk.
The bureau plat stands on four tapering legs, terminating in socket castors marked JC, aiding in the easier transportation of the desk. The piece is also labelled with an embossed brass label reading ‘KG 8913’.
A bedside table made by Donald Ross is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. When the piece entered the museum’s collection, it was thought to date from the late 18th century due to the very fine quality of manufacture executed by Ross. The desk in Mayfair Gallery’s collection is of the same high quality, representational of the best of Ross’s work and its movable features paired with sleek design, make it a superb addition to one’s home office space.