Made for Henry VIII
The Victoria & Albert Museum
The exterior of the desk is quite plain when compared to its elaborate red silk velvet and painted interior. It is covered with shagreen (leather, possibly sharkskin), mounted with metal-gilt angle-mounts, loop handles and ball feet. These were added later in the Eighteenth Century. The present red silk velvet lining is most likely a Nineteenth Century replacement for the original lining. Traces of the original crimson silk velvet appear on the bottoms of the largest compartments.