A Desk Fit for a Prince
What kind of desks do you have at school? Maybe they are made of wood or metal and were designed to be used in a classroom.
Your school desk probably doesn't look like the fancy desk shown here. It was made more than 300 years ago for a prince named Maximilian Emanuel. He let us know he was its owner in a couple of ways.
The original key for the desk's drawers still exists, and his initials, "ME," are molded into the key.
The desk also has a coat of arms on the top that includes the standing lions of Bavaria in Germany. They tell us the area where the prince was from. A coat of arms is a symbol for a family or a country. These symbols were first used on shields carried by knights. These designs told the identity of knights while in battle.
The desk is certainly fit for a prince. It is decorated with rare materials, such as ivory, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl, ebony, and horn, and is very colorful. Even the tassels that hang on the sides of the desk are special—they are made of wood and coated with silver. The desk is covered with details of things from nature—animals, flowers, fruit and birds—as well as human figures. In one detail, the Roman goddess of agriculture holds a bag of fruit. In another scene, a cupid points his arrow at a woman wearing a feather headdress.