The slant top desk can be considered in some ways as the ancestor or the little brother of the secretary desk for it is, for all practical purposes, a secretary desk without the massive bookcase on top of it. It can also be considered as the descendant, in form, of the desk on a frame, which was a form of portable desk in earlier eras.
In some places the slant top desk is known as a "bureau" desk, and in others it goes under the name of slope-front desk. In the United States, the slant top desk is sometimes called a Governor Winthrop desk, in memory of John Winthrop, the 17th century governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. As Winthrop died in 1647, he had no actual connection to this style of desk, which originated in the 18th century and is especially associated with Chippendale. The name "Winthrop" was attached to this kind of desk by the Winthrop Furniture Co. of Boston, Massachusetts, who offered their "Gov. Winthrop" desk in 1924, during the colonial revival period.
Like the Wooton desk, the fall front desk and others with a hinged desktop (and unlike closable desks with an unmovable desktop like the rolltop desk or the cylinder desk) all documents and various items must be removed from the work surface of the slant-top desk before closing up.
The slant-top desk has been handcrafted in a variety of styles, the most famous being probably the block front seashell desk of the 18th century which was popular among the well-to-do of Colonial America.
The slant-top desk has also been mass produced in a great quantity of sub-forms and materials. For instance, some slant top desks have very crude chains or levers to hold the desktop in an open working position, while others have elegant sliders ("lopers") which are manually or automatically extended to give support.
See also the list of desk forms and types.
Famous quotes containing the words desk, slant and/or top:
“Write about winter in the summer. Describe Norway as Ibsen did, from a desk in Italy; describe Dublin as James Joyce did, from a desk in Paris. Willa Cather wrote her prairie novels in New York City; Mark Twain wrote Huckleberry Finn in Hartford, Connecticut. Recently, scholars learned that Walt Whitman rarely left his room.”
—Annie Dillard (b. 1945)
“The dead fed you
Amid the slant stones of graveyards.
Pale ghosts who planted you
Came in the night-time
And let their thin hair blow through your clustered stems.”
—Amy Lowell (18741925)
“She isnt harassed. Shes busy, and its glamorous to be busy. Indeed, the image of the on- the-go working mother is very like the glamorous image of the busy top executive. The scarcity of the working mothers time seems like the scarcity of the top executives time.... The analogy between the busy working mother and the busy top executive obscures the wage gap between them at work, and their different amounts of backstage support at home.”
—Arlie Hochschild (20th century)