From 1572 until the dissolution of the order in 1767, the Society of Jesus maintained a series of missions or reservations in Upper Peru, today’s Bolivia. As part of their missionary activities the Jesuits organized art and trade schools for the indigenous people of the locale. The Moxos and Chiquitos missions achieved a great deal of recognition for their carved wood works. The majority of their production concentrated on small utilitarian objects like boxes for holding coca leaves. In exceptional cases larger and more elaborate works like this pair of desks were produced. The variegated carving of the entire surface is inlaid with mother-of-pearl, mimicking the use of this material in oriental works. The interiors of the fall-fronts are painted: one depicting a hunting scene while the other shows a scene of gallantry.