La Dogana Da Mar

La Dogana da Mar is symbolic of the raison d’etre of Venice, the historic centre of trade, commerce and mercantile wealth. The building has also long been a source of inspiration for artists and photographers alike, and for these reasons LINLEY have chosen the building as the subject matter for a one-off piece of furniture, La Dogana Desk.

The La Dogana Desk is constructed in walnut with burr walnut and Macassar ebony inlays, with the Dogana building replicated as the main gallery of the desk, featuring Benoni’s distinctive square tower on either end.

Each tower is crowned with a gilt, ormolu globe, borne by Atlas (who was condemned by Zeus to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders), re-created in verdigris. Fortuna, Goddess of Abundance, also recreated in verdigris, surmounts the globe and swivels in keeping with the original purpose of the globe and figurine as weather vane (the gilding of the globe also served as a beacon to guide ships into the harbour).

Two secret drawers are concealed within the towers, operated by pushing a gas spring catch hidden beneath the desk. The towers rise to reveal an inner compartment and a marquetry representation of a Venetian Carnival mask, a detail added to surprise and amuse the spectator.

The desk is adorned with plaques of lapis lazuli, the intense blue of which references the colour of the Venetian lagoon surrounding La Dogana da Mar. Each plaque is bordered by satinwood. In 2007 the desk was exhibited as a ‘Contemporary Masterpiece’ at the Wallace Collection, London, before being sold to a private client.


Whether you are commissioning a piece of furniture for a house or yacht, an architectural desk or box, or a bespoke accessory, we aim to make the process as seamless as possible from start to finish.

At our flagship store LINLEY Belgravia, we will be delighted to show you examples of our work, introduce you to your design team and discuss your requirements in detail. Examples of previously commissioned pieces and samples such as woods, fabrics and leather are used to help visualise the initial concept.

Thank you!

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