This desk bears strong stylistic and constructional resemblances to the work of Coxed and Woster. Founded by John Coxed (fl. 1703-1718) and succeeded by Grace Coxed and Thomas Woster (fl. 1719-1736), the firm operated under the insignia of the White Swan in St. Paul's churchyard.
Several pieces bearing the White Swan trade label are extant, and exemplify the firm's use of field or burr maple chemically treated and stained to resemble tortoiseshell (long referred to as "mulberry" wood) and inlaid with pewter. This staining technique is described in Stalker and Parker's 1688 A Treatise of Japanning and Varnishing, and recommends the use of "Aqua fortis" with metal filings to obtain this particular effect.
Similar desks to the one offered here are illustrated in: Adam Bowett, English Furniture 1660-1714, Antique Collector's Club, 2002, p. 225.
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