What is a Lectern?

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Monday, February 24, 2020

An antique lectern is a simple raised and slanted stand, usually with a slanted top. Commonly found in churches but originally used by speakers to place their notes. The word ‘Lectern’ comes from the Latin word ‘Lectus’, the past participle of the verb ‘Legere’, which means “to read”. Lecturns were usually placed on a stand or fixed on some form of support. These Lecterns facilitated better eye contact for the reader with the audience and helped maintain a better posture. Some styles of lecterns can be adjusted for height or slant.

An antique lectern was also a used as a form of desk, used to make writing easy. These variants usually came fitted with adaptions that provided room for paper and writing materials. The term ‘Lectern’ was also used to describe large standing desks that provided ease of writing especially in small cramped up quarters. These were often used in residence as well as at workplaces.

At Period Oak Antiques, we have this stunning and rare 16th century English oak lectern sourced from a private collection. This rare and beautiful piece has a carved scrolled top above a carved Romayne head. The underside of the folding bookstand is carved with a cherub, standing on arched supports with carved feet. The beauty of this particular piece lies in the fact that this lectern is carved from one single piece of oak.

Visit our website to have a look at this stunning piece.