Georgian Portable Desk by Handford

Georgian Portable Desk by Handford

Maker / Retailer


A Georgian rosewood and mahogany Portable Desk or Writing Slope by Thomas Handford.

Not only is this Portable Desk very good quality, as you would expect of Thomas Handford, but it retains its removable candlesticks which so often are lost. The box is edged in brass with inlaid brass tramlines to the top and front. The flush, brass carrying handles are decoratively shaped, as is the engraving plate to the top which echoes the escutcheon plate to the front. The shaped brass decoration continues to the interior with inset corners to the box's edges. Those to the top of the box, by the desk tidy area, have holes to take the support pins of the removable candle arms. The arms are made of two bars riveted together to allow them to be folded and to adjust the position of the candlestick for use. When removed, the sconces can be unscrewed from the arms and the parts are stored in the lift out tray that is housed below the top half of the replaced, red leather writing surface.

The desk tidy has a travel inkwell to each corner, a lidded compartment and a removable pen tray with space below. The bottom half of the writing surface has a plain space to take papers and two holes to fit the removable lectern bar when not in use. This bar is fitted to the brass edging of the top and will support a book or papers when the top is set at an angle by the adjustable arm fitted to the interior of the edge.

The large tray also covers the sprung facia board that hides the box's three secret drawers, situated below the desk tidy. This is accessed by using the brass pin, stored under the lectern support arm to the edge of the box interior. Underneath the pen tray is a hole to the corner with a release button that can be pressed by the pin.

The box has a patent lock by William Tompson of Bull Street, Birmingham. Tompson's details are stamped to the lock along with GR. He took out his patent, given for 14 years, on the 29th of December 1808. The interior also has a small, unnamed lock to the top half of the writing surface. Both locks retain their keys. The engraving plate is initialled 'C B' for its owner.

This is a good Georgian box by a good maker from the early 19th Century.

Closed size is given.


Height 16.5 cm / 6 "
Width 45.7 cm / 18 "
Depth 25.39 cm / 10 "

Early 19th Century


Rosewood on Mahogany, Brass




Thomas Handford Label


Campaign Box

Furnishing The Empire

A Cites certificate is need to export this box


Good, Leather skiver is replaced. Splits to the tray base.