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|Description||This escritoire belonged to Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy (1769-1839). Writing cabinet on ornate pedestal stand ending in four scroll feet and base plinth. Two sliding shelves with shaped fronts and six small drawers. Two further secret drawers concealed behind the two upper small drawers, the whole enclosed by a fall front. Brass handles either side. The cabinet is of Cuban mahogany and has a fall front with a silk velvet writing surface. This would have provided a relatively stable and even support for correspondence. The handles on either side ensured portability. The plinth on which it now rests appears to be a later addition. Hardy was in command of the ‘Mutine’ at the Battle of the Nile (1798) after which he transferred to the ‘Vanguard’ as Nelson’s flag-captain. He was on board the ‘Elephant’ (Captain Foley) at the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 and, as captain of 'Victory', was by Nelson’s side when he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Trafalgar (1805). His last appointment, from 1834 to his death, was as Governor of the Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich.|
|Date made||late 18th century|
|Credit||National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Caird Collection|
|Materials||brass; silk velvet; mahogany|
|Measurements||Overall: 1045 x 545 x 435 mm|
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