What is it? Antique Italian rosewood desk on curule supports, with leather writing surface
Where it’s from: 19th-century Italy
Cocktail-party tidbit: “Curule” refers to the legs’ x-shaped, crisscrossing structure, and dates all the way back to the ancient Romans (who are said to have borrowed the idea from the ancient Egyptians). The x-shaped form originally appeared in chairs, called sella curulis, upon which Roman magistrates would sit. The wide x of the chairs’ legs were one feature: The others, low back and no arms, made the chairs uncomfortable to sit in for long periods of time, indicating that the Roman leaders should handle their business efficiently. The curule design element has endured for thousands of years, enjoying starring roles in the Italian Renaissance and 19th-century America, among other eras….