The molded top above a central roll top section
opening to reveal a baize lined writing slide
and an arrangement of pigeonholes and false drawers
flanked by a
pair of deep bowfront drawers above three drawers
and raised on square tapering legs ending in brass caps and
marked with a
stamp for the Royal Household of William IV:
WR IV BENEATH A CROWN
(to the upper outside of the left front leg);
"FIRST L T"
(above the left front leg on the side of the
(William Henry, 1765-1837), the third son of George III,
1830-37, was known as
the "Sailor King".
He entered the Royal Navy at age 13, fighting in
the American Revolution and serving in the Caribbean.
became a Lieutenant in 1785, and Captain of the HMS Pegasus in 1786.
Later that year, he was stationed in the West Indies,
where he was under the command of his friend Horatio Nelson.
did not remain onboard
ship, as did Nelson, but resided on land.
He is credited with building "Clarence
House", in which he supposedly lived during his services there -
although it was actually
built in 1806 for the Dockyard Commissioner.
William Henry became Duke
of Clarence in 1789, and was promoted to
admiral in 1790, seeing little active service after that time.
made Lord High Admiral in 1827, attempting to run naval affairs without his
contrary to law, and being forced to resign in 1828.
Before retiring,introduced a series of innovations, including the
Navy's first steam-driven warship.
Between 1797 and 1830,
as Duke of Clarence, he lived almost entirely at Bushey House, where Queen
Adelaide resided from 1837-1849.
In 1829, Clarence House in
London, designed by John Nash, was completed for the Duke.
Being a man
of simple tastes, the
Clarence House interior was "plainly decorated and furnished".
inheriting the throne in 1830, he preferred to remain at
Clarence House, rather than lavishly appointed Buckingham Palace.
He remained there until
his death in 1837.
The William IV Royal Household stamp indicates that
this desk was in the
household of William IV after 1830.
"FIRST LT" would relate to military
use by a Lieutenant.
The precise ownership and use of the desk within
theRoyal Household of
William IV is unknown,
but may reside within household inventory lists of
Recent Provenance: Estate of Susan Sontag and Philip Rieff, purchased c1950-58, London
42 1/2"H x 61"W x 22"D