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17th century


MAK Galerie

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Secretary Desk, 17th Century

During the Middle Ages, the gothic style demonstrates a strong religious influence. Tracery overlays the shapes of the architecture of the period. The principal furniture of the Middle Ages can be summed up as religious furnishings and trunks (also called "chests"). The lectern appears, a piece for writing while standing.

Used in numerous ways, the trunk is the key furniture piece of the gothic style. It gradually assumes a greater versatility and improvises as a seat, table, counter, bread box (in the kitchen) and writing table. One can find magnificent chests from the Middle Ages and Renaissance converted into exceptional desks. A combination of table and cabinet, the desk appears at the beginning of the 17th century. The Louis XIII desk comprises four beaded legs united by an H crossbar sometimes accommodating a fifth leg.