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Antique Walnut Drop Front (Flip Top) Desk

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    Posted 6 years ago

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    This is a Walnut Desk that was identified as an antique by my family about 65 years ago. It appears to be solid walnut on the front and sides; there is no evidence of veneer. I have included photos of the drawer to show the joints and the back, which seems very difficult to dust because the texture of the wood is very rough. I believe the style is called Chippendale. Can anyone tell the approximate age of the desk or anything more about it? Thank you.

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    1. Gillian, 6 years ago
      I started to write quite a lengthy post about your piece of furniture. The more I went along the worse I felt! I was going on your question ".....or anything more about it?" Can you please be specific about what exactly it is you want to know? Thanks so much.
    2. Vaseller, 6 years ago
      Gillian, thanks for your reply. First, I am interested to know the approximate age of the desk. I think it is possibly an eighteenth century desk, but I am not sure. It seems that the construction predate the use of machine tools, but beyond that I am not positive. The joints are the drawer do not exactly match. The texture of the back of the desk is quite rough, and I have to believe that it was made prior to the use of machine tools. Do you think it is American in origin or English or other European country? How would you properly describe the base? Would you properly describe the style as Chippendale?
    3. Gillian, 6 years ago
      I'm sorry for being so late to get back to you. Here is an example of an 18th Century Chippendale Walnut desk. This one is very 'high end', as you can see and read.

      The design of yours certainly looks like a Chippendale'ish, with Chippendale features. Your desk looks to be lot more crudely made, the front has a lot of problems - broken leg, and two drawers are broken. The dovetailing is very roughly hewn and would not have been done by a craftsman of fine furniture. I don't think the finishings in the middle of the drawers are original to the piece.

      I don't feel qualified to offer more information. It may have been made by an apprentice, someone learning about making furniture. And I'm not even going to guess how old it is. You may want to take the photographs you show here to an antique furniture dealer and see what their impression is.

      All I've said here is only my opinion, based on my little knowledge of furniture.

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