Victorian Reading Table, "Carter's Literary Machine", c. 1885

Victorian adjustable reading table, "Carter's Literary Machine". The mahogany bookrest with an inset commemorative plaque which reads, "In affectionate remembrance from your Cornish Parishioners", pivots on a swivel arm. The height of the dish top telescopes from 29" to 42". The reeded brass post is raised on a fine and heavy cast iron base with brass casters.

England c. Late 19th
14.5 diameter x 29" high

PRICE: $1,200  

Email us about this item

Condition: Slight warp to the mahogany top

This anachronistic contraption was manufactured by John Carter of London whose firm sold fine medical furniture. The dish top and easel are solid mahogany and the various parts move with the precision of a scientific instrument. An 1889 advertisement even boasted that Queen Victoria gave one of these Literary Machines to Emperor Frederick of Germany (see adjacent photos).

Remove the easel for a small side table or even an adjustable pedestal for a sculpture or lamp.

Robert Morrissey Antiques and Fine Art

Hours: Thursday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm and by appointment.

704 Hanley Industrial Ct., St. Louis, MO 63144 • (314) 644-7066 •

Hours: Thursday - Saturday, 10am - 5pm and by appointment.