This desk was used by the Duke of Wellington in his later military career. It can still be found in the office at Horse Guards in Westminster, London, where the Duke was based when he became Commander-in-Chief.
Following the Allied victory at Waterloo, Wellington was seen as Britain’s greatest living general. He was promoted to various important roles, being made Master-General of the Ordnance in 1818, and Governor of Plymouth in 1819. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief, the highest position in the British Army, on 22 January 1827.
The desk was originally commissioned in the late 1700s by Prince Frederick, Duke of York, who became Commander in Chief in 1795. He was succeeded by the Duke of Wellington in 1827. It is not known who made the desk but the design appeared in a book by Thomas Sheraton in 1791. The office of the Commander-in-Chief moved from Horse Guards in 1904. Today the office belongs to the General Officer Commanding the Household Division.
The office overlooks the parade ground at Horse Guards. And it is from this desk that orders and instructions are issued for all important state ceremonial occasions in London, including Trooping the Colour for the Queen’s Birthday Parade and the State Opening of Parliament.
Some objects - such as this one - are owned by private collectors. Waterloo 200 cannot give information on the ownership or location of these items.