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Object Record

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Object Name Desk, Lap
Catalog Number 0985.07.00103, a-n
Description The lap desk is wood satchel covered in tan leather with a tooled design, leather handle, and brass clasp. The flap opens to reveal a group of inner compartments. A small flip-up inkwell remains in its compartment as well as the expanding paper rack mechanism. "Billie Davis" is written in long hand on the inner flap. The contents of the lap desk are as follows:
(.103a) harmonica;
(.103b) small scissors;
(.103c) playing cards in cardboard box with lid; box is stamped, "Washington Playing Cards/416 South 13th St./PHILAD/43 JOHN St., NEW YORK";
(.103d) playing cards with holly berries;
(.103e) toothbrush; bone handle; marked, H. C. Steever / Memphis Tenn";
(.103f) inkwell;
(.103g) wood, cork, and metal nib pen - "97 E. FABER U.S.A. PEER" Memphis Tenn;
(.103h) rubber eraser;
(.103i) pencil nub;
(.103j) piece of crayon;
(.103k) pen - metal and crayon (broken);
(.103l) plastic tube;
(.103m) book mark - foil with blue ribbon; and
(.103n) scrap of newspaper.
Dimensions H-8.75 W-10.5 D-2.625 inches
Owned William Howell Davis
Provenance William Howell Davis carried this lap desk. The items associated with it remain inside; there are playing cards, harmonica, scissors, toothbrush, and pen.

"No. 52: Desk and treasures of William Howell Davis, son of the Confederacy, born in the Executive Mansion, Richmond."
People Davis, William Howell
Subjects Gambling
Card games
Card playing