Russian - Desk with Animals and Decoration - Walters 71429 - Three Quarter
This seven-drawer miniature writing desk is known as a "teremok" (small tower) cabinet. Flat walrus-ivory and bone plaques, some of which have been stained moss green, are affixed by nails to the cabinet's front and sides, and to the fronts of the three interior drawers. Their surface is busily decorated with circle motifs and colored black. Twelve thicker plaques carved with rocaille floral openwork decoration typical of the mid 18th century north Russian School have been set over mica sheets on the exterior drawer fronts, sides, and top. The two largest of these plaques are set into the sloping drop-front. They include, on the right, a lion, and on the left a doe and swooping bird, within the stylized floral matrix. Several of the plaques are chipped or cracked.
On the back on a paper tag is written: "130;" engraved on the bottom of the left front foot is the date "1812."