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New England escritoire, maple, ca. 1770

--Morphy Auctions

Definition: a type of case furniture, usually a low desk, that has a slant top; when open, this sloping lid forms a surface for writing or reading (the name derives from the French word "écrire", meaning "to write"); developed in the early 18th century, the escritoire grew out of - and the term can still apply to - a writing box or small cabinet with a drop-front and drawers or shelves that dates from the Middle Ages, probably from Spain

Pronunciation: ess-cre-twair

Also Known As: escritorio (Spanish), slant-top desk, fall-front desk (English)

Example: The escritoire is another example of the specialized forms of furniture that developed throughout the 1700s in Europe.

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