Some people study furniture. This is in the Guildhall (the City Hall), so I’ll just quote the unsigned plaque found nearby:
“This Library Writing Table was made by Thomas Knight of Bath for the 1862 International Exhibition at South Kensington. It was subsequently purchased by William Preston to furnish Ellel Grange in Lancashire, and Italianate Villa which and been built five years previously. Messrs. Gillows of Lancaster were responsible for making most of the furniture for the house in addition to a new base for the superstructure of this desk, around 1864. The Gillow base in considerably narrower than the original made by Knight and lacks the first drawers.
“Thomas Knight was one of the leading cabinetmakers inb the West of England. His firm held a special appointment to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, and was responsible for the furnishing of the Grand Pump Room Hotel and several British Embassies on the Continent. In 1870 the firm manufactured an escritoire which was presented by the City ot the Princess of Wales in 1870. Thomas Knight, later Knight and Son, flourished from 1833 to 1896. The firm had promises on Milsom Street, George Street, and John Street and traded as Cabinet Makers, Upholsterers and Auctioneers.
“This desk was sold by Christies at Ellel Grange in October 1979 and subsequently purchased from a London Antique Dealer for the Victoria Art Gallery by the Charles Robertson Family Trust with a 50% Department of Education and Science Grant.”