There are many types of “writing furniture”, but the best known is perhaps the OFFICE, basically a desk with a hinged flap that folds when not in use.
Manufactured in quantity from the 18th century, the offices are usually oak, walnut, pine or mahogany, some richly decorated with lacquer or marquerty. They were often combined with bookcases and cabinets to become bookcases or office cupboards.
Like ordinary cupboards, they were as much intended to display the wealth of their owner as for all practical purposes. Many have a strong architectural feel, designed to coordinate with the architecture of the rooms in which they were located.
Chinese and Japanese lacquers became popular in the 17th century and English cabinetmakers began producing their own “oriental” style lacquer called japanning. Black was the most common color. red is much rarer.