Leeds Museums and Galleries object of the week- Harewood writing table

Leeds, Leeds Star

A true example of master craftsmanship at its very finest, Temple Newsam’s beautiful Harewood writing table has been in Leeds for more than 240 years.

Created by none other than world-famous furniture maker and designer Thomas Chippendale, the desk was originally made for architect Robert Adam’s palace at Harewood House in 1771.

Intended to be the centrepiece of the room, the desk is fashioned from a combination of rosewood, oak, pine, mahogany, beech, tulipwood, satinwood, sycamore and holly.

The table passed through several generations at Harewood until 1965 when the 7th Earl of Harewood entered it into a Christie’s auction.

With the help of local benefactors and the National Arts Collection Fund, it was secured for the city by Leeds Corporation and put on display at Temple Newsam.

The magnificent desk is part of a collection of furniture by Chippendale, who was born in Otley, which is on display at Temple Newsam and which includes items permanently on loan from the Chippendale Society.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries: “We’re incredibly proud to have such a beautiful and significant collection of work by one of the world’s most renowned furniture-makers right here in Leeds.

“This desk in particular really does have to be seen to be believed- it’s a stunning piece of craftsmanship that really does get across why Chippendale is so revered and I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting than Temple Newsam for something so beautiful.”

Temple Newsam: Until February 12, 2016, visits to view the house are by pre-arranged appointment Tuesday to Friday or by booking on to one of our popular guided tours or special events by calling 0113 3367460. The shop, café and farm will be open as usual. Admission charges apply.