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02 March 2020From Desktop to Bureau – writing furniture from the 16th to 18th century
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From Desktop to Bureau – writing furniture from the 16th to 18th century Janusz Karczewski-Slowikowski Monday 02 March 2020

The rise in importance of writing furniture from the 16th to 18th centuries reflected the economic as well as then social need for greater literacy as mercantile trade developed across the globe.  This lecture traces the development of the bureau-bookcase and other writing furniture from the humble “writing slope” or “Bible-box” through to magnificent symbols of status and power – just think of Louis XV’s desk in Versailles.  Computers may have “hidden Files” but lack the intrigue and mechanical craftsmanship of secret drawers and compartments, which this lecture will reveal.

Just think of all the “knickknacks” the various sized drawers of a desk, bureau or Escritoire can hold and what collections can be displayed where printed books replace, replaced by “E-books” once stood.  Have personal computers and lap-tops made writing furniture redundant?  Definitely no!