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Tall Desk

Tall Desk View Interactive Version ]

One of the more interesting pieces of furniture owned by Jefferson is this tall, adaptable desk for reading or drawing. The angle of the top, hinged at the front, can be adjusted. A bail handle pulls forward to reveal a flat writing surface. Supported by six legs, the desk has mostly replacement Chinese fretwork brackets beneath the skirt. The original, presumably brass, list to prevent books, papers, or writing implements from slipping and gallery is missing. The straight legs sit on casters.

The desk, whose angled top is large enough to accommodate a folio, is similar to a partially illegible description of one that Jefferson ordered from the Williamsburg cabinetmaker George Donald1 . The dimensions specified by Jefferson, however, do not exactly match the existing desk.

Artist/Maker Unknown
Object TypeFurniture and Lighting
Materialsmahogany; yellow pine
Dimensions45 7/8 x 36 x 23 in.
LocationJefferson's Bedchamber


  1. The note is recorded in James A. Bear, Jr., Jefferson's Memorandum Books, 1767.

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