Sir William Schwenck Gilbert's desk
Wood; burgundy leather; brass plaque and fittings
"THIS DESK BELONGED TO / SIR W. S. GILBERT. / AND ON IT MOST OF HIS LATER WORKS WERE WRITTEN / GIVEN TO ME BY LADY GILBERT. / NOVEMBER. 1911. / H. ROWLAND-BROWN." (engr. on plaque under lid)
Sir W S Gilbert; given by his wife Lady Gilbert to H Rowland Brown, by whom bequeathed to the Garrick Club, 1922
The desk has a sloping writing surface which lifts up; it has sunken ink well and pen holders, and the raised compartment at the rear lifts up to reveal further stationary storage. Sir Gilbert has been described as the most brilliant dramatist of Victorian England, and a forerunner of Osacr Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. He died in 1911, the year Lady Gilbert passed it to the donor.