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March 2, 2012

Lap desk used by Stephen Riggs

Filed under: Item of the Day — Lizzie Ehrenhalt @ 9:30 am

Lap desk used by Stephen Riggs (closed)Lap desk used by Stephen Riggs (open)

Mahogany folding lap desk used by Reverend Stephen Return Riggs (1812-1883), a Presbyterian minister and missionary. The desk has brass hinges and a copper lock mechanism with a copper key. Its bottom is lined with green velvet.  The writing surface is covered with black velvet and opens to reveal two storage compartments. The front compartment has four subcompartments; one contains a clear glass inkwell lidded with metal, and another has a tilting panel that reveals a hidden compartment beneath.  The lock plate is stamped “EAGLE LOCK CO./ TERRYVILLE, CONN./ MADE IN U.S.A.” The desk was made around 1850 and underwent restoration in 1938.

For details, view the desk in our online collections database.

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