January 2014 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Coleridge's Lap Desk for Sale

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 2.10.43 PM.pngThe "writing slope" of English poet-philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge goes to auction Tuesday in London. The mahogany lap desk features little holders for ink wells, a pen rack, and two drawers. No word whether he composed his most famous works--The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Kubla Khan--here, but family tradition holds that this was the famous Lake poet's slope and that it was bequeathed to his sons and from there to his grandson E.H. Coleridge, along with the wedding spoons and clock also on offer in this "Gentleman's Library Sale."

Says Bonhams, "Although such artefacts are notoriously difficult to date with any precision, it certainly seems to be of too early a date to have belonged to either of Coleridge's sons." The sale estimate is $3,300-5,000--and no, the winning bidder will not walk away with the spoons, manuscript pages, or the other objects seen in this auction house illustration.

Image courtesy of Bonhams.