Wednesday, August 13, 2008

DESK/ABC Wednesday

I was really moved by Mrs. Nesbitt's own post for ABC Wednesday where she talked about her Dad.
So for today I thought I would feature my desk which was not at all photo-ready.
In my desk you will find, daughter and dogs and dihrams (Moroccan money.)

On top of the desk sits my grandmother's French traveling clock which still works and pings merrily but does not record the actual time but whatever time it wishes. It stops and starts almost randomly and is very friendly. Behind the desk is R's most recent painting which contains flowers which is good since there aren't any flowers on the desk right now.

The last picture is in sepia which always seems to indicate history and nostalgia and all that sort of thing.
A history of my desk. It was made circa 1790 and is English country oak. It was bought in 1937 for 25 pounds sterling and given to my mother as a wedding present from her best friend's family.
I often wonder about who it must have belonged to through the Napoleonic wars and the Boer War and the First World War.
But I know it was from this desk that my mother wrote letters to my father during the Second.
I have known this desk all my life. It used to have a nice big blotter in the days people used proper ink.
The desk survived the journey to the US in 1990.
Now it is a repositary for all sorts of important stuff, and reminds me very much of my mother.


  1. This is such a charming post! Lovely, lovely history of your desk and especially your grandmothers friendly traveling clock.

  2. Your desk really has a history, more than 200 years.
    I am fascinated by this thought, and I love to buy "old" things too which have a history. It gives me a good feeling.

  3. That desk has been through and witness to a lot. The clock is very curious, is it called a traveling clock just because it tells time randomly? or because you are supposed to bring it traveling? Does it tell the right time when you are traveling?

  4. Love this post Elizabeth ! your grandmother's traveling clock is a beautiful object to cherish even if it's whimsical.
    and your desk of course is your treasure...

    still hot in New York ?

    ps: noticed the Immoralist in your books list (A. Gide is great!) :-)

  5. A lovely desk you have. It is so meaningful to know the history of something you use everyday. It becomes more than its function, doesn't it?

    I have been at my desk all day, and am still amidst stacks of to-do's! Sigh.

  6. So lovely to have so much family history at your fingertips

  7. Dearest Elizabeth, wow..what a desk and with so much history in it, its a real treasure. Interesting so many things we have always link us to some event or person in our lives. Your desk definitely looks much tidier than mine :D

  8. Lovely post. Love it.


  9. It's nice to see "Command Central"!!

  10. Hello Elizabeth. I truly enjoyed your "D" post...and was entranced by all the things you showed us, from R's fabulous (I really to LOVE is in just the style I like most) painting, to that whimsical clock, and the history of your desk. I enlarged a couple of the photos for a better look. What a wonderful desk, and that you wonder who used it in days that little locking door too!

    And about that clock....I can imagine a child's story written around that clock and the fact that it keeps whatever time it likes...perhaps transporting its owner hither and yon on various adventures through time...


I look forward to hearing from you!