Amongst the items up for auction in Christie’s Interiors sale on the 18th of March 2014 is lot 73, an unusual Regency mahogany campaign draughtsman’s or cartographer’s table.
Mahogany campaign draughtsman’s table, circa 1815-20. (Christie’s)
The top hinges inwards and upwards to reveal a hinged and ratcheted green baize-lined writing slope. A baize-lined candle slide withdraws from either side. The brass-collared, tapered, reeded legs are removable.
The four blocks above the legs must stay with the desk. When the legs are removed the table can be set down, the blocks keeping it off the floor or ground, so fingers can easily slip underneath, making it easier to lift. Nice wide boards on the top. Very interesting table.
I think you’re reading too much into it. It’s more likely the table’s corner blocks are that length so the legs’ threaded spigots don’t interfere with the table frame’s joinery, thereby weakening the table.
The owner of such a fine table would have employed sufficient servants to hold the table top up while four more serfs attached the legs.
The tapered, reeded legs are a very nice touch.
Ah, so that’s where the British kept their rulers.
Anyone look at that and think – if that’s how it’s set up for drafting, that’s going to hurt someone’s wrist? It looks uncomfortable, but that might be my modern understanding of a “drafting” table.