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Cabinet used for????

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Furniture1449 of 13782Antique flat top trunk 1880’sAntique desk
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    Posted 2 years ago

    (1 item)

    Been around antiques for years and have no clue what this would have been used for. It is about the size of a wash stand. has a pull out shelf like a cutting board. Pivoting door has shelves. When door is closed and locked it locks drawers also by overlapping the edges.
    Several long time dealers have looked at it and they have no idea either.
    Hoping someone here knows what it was used for.

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    1. Gillian, 2 years ago
      To my eye, this is a marriage. The top seems to be in the style of Eastlake, curvy pieces with delicate carvings; the bottom a beautiful Mission style, straight lines and geometric shapes. Without the top it could be a ladies dresser, or possibly a kitchen cabinet?
    2. phuloi68, 2 years ago
      It is to small for dresser or kitchen cabinet. When I first got it I thought it was a newer make. Doesn't have square cut nails, joints are not hand cut, lock isn't a style used in Victorian times. But the wood appears to have a lot of age to it. Thought someone tore some dresser(?) apart and made this from the parts.
      Thanks for your response
      Best guess we came up with is a Doctor, Dentist, Pharmacy person would sit and make up something. On some of the pivot shelves there is different markings where small round (???) sat along with maybe some small boxes(???)
    3. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      Beautiful desk! Being a jewelry collector I would love to have this to put me jewelry in it :)

      I was thinking "why is it small?" Could it have been like a shipscaptains desk, but it looks too petite for that. I would think it has been in some sort of office enviroment or shop. I think you should ask someone specialized in that sort of antique furniture. I found this, maybe you can find someway to contact them. Hope you find an answer:
    4. yougottahavestuff yougottahavestuff, 2 years ago
      Elisabethan might be onto something. I have a Antique Shipcaptains desk. It's small 29" high by 22" by 22'. It was on a sailing ship in the 1890's
      Mahogany with Burl panels on the side drawers. Lift top desk.
      Does your desk have any signs on the back that it was attached to something??? Mine does.

    5. yougottahavestuff yougottahavestuff, 2 years ago
      Forgot to mention mine has a mahogany top rail similar to yours.
    6. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      Interesting it is. The idea I got about it maybe being a nautical furniture was because there might be a reason why it was made small, but it was also because of another pratical feature. When you close the door it seems to lock all the drawers except the largest one. If you are on a boat that would be handy so they don't come out when you don't want them to. Maybe the largest one does not need that beacues its so large that the weight of it keeps it from doing that? But this could also meen that you wanted to lock it because you wanted to have important documents or things in it... Or it is just pratical because you only need one keyhole :)
    7. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      I agree with yougottahavestuff that it would be interesting to see the back of it.
    8. yougottahavestuff yougottahavestuff, 2 years ago
      Pivoting door good for storing Nautical instruments sextant etc.

    9. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      Yes exactly yougottahavestuff :)
      I have searched some more "antique chips captains' desk" and found out they are also called davenport desk. When I search on line for davenport desks I see a lot of this type of desks. You also find them under "victorian writing desks". I guess they could come in more than one enviroment and adapted to the customers needs, nautical or office wise :)
    10. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      This one is a bit different with front drawers and pivotting door, but still I think it is influnced by the davenport desks. It might not be victorian but later but great designs can live on and be altered.
    11. yougottahavestuff yougottahavestuff, 2 years ago
      Yup named after Captain Davenport!!! Mine is tucked away in my Stuff!!!!
      Will pull it out when I get a chance!!! and take pics of it.
    12. Gillian, 2 years ago
      @ phuloi68 Hi there, the information you gave us in your post one hour after I posted, would have been perfect for you to include Show & Tell item description. Dimensions would have been extremely helpful. Elisabethan and yougottahavestuff's research and, corresponding information, is so interesting to read! Does anyone agree that the top is a later addition?
    13. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      If davenport the top is in the right design as far at i has the "fence" but yes Gillian the whole furniture looks a bit altered, maybe someone has made it inspired by the davenport type of desks? So I can't say it is later, they parts might have been built together at the same time but the top might come frome another piece of furniture, if you understand me. Don't know how to describe it in english :). Unless someone can show a similar desk and have knowledge about what his has been used for, I think it will be hard to tell exactly what this had been used for. I think it could have been pratical in any shop or legal office. I can see how you could have dokuments in the drawers and writing tools and such on the shelfs.....
    14. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      Men to write "about what it has been used for", my phone....
    15. Gillian, 2 years ago
      Thanks Elisabethan - I understand. Look forward to anything you can add.
    16. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      Thanks Gillian and yougottahavestuff! I leave it up to Phuloi68 to give further info about the back or to come to a conclusion about all the ideas we have put in. Have a nice day and see you on other CW posts :)
    17. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      Interesting desk-- I have seen similar ones in the past, but I don't have any links.

      Looks to be a dual purpose desk: top for standing and doing work and bottom portion with pull out shelf for seated work. I don't know the occupation it was made for-- one that requires organized paperwork/ documents/ tags, etc...

      I believe the top is original to the piece-- maybe a photo of the back (along edge that connects to the base) will show something that changes my opinion.

    18. phuloi68, 2 years ago
      I will take more pictures. The dozen or so people who have seen it mostly think it would be a great jewelry cabinet. The others a small bar. It is on casters which I have not looked at to see if old and original. It has the look of being old but there are a few things maybe not. The lock isn't a type used way back. The drawer pulls are more towards the early 1900's rather then the late 1800's. But are they repos? The back is flat wood almost like plywood but it is solid. Not ruff sawn. Again what goes thru my mind is someone took a Victorian dresser or something and cut it up to make this. Reason I say this is the wood is older looking then the insides and back.
    19. Elisabethan Elisabethan, 2 years ago
      Yes most things are more easily examined irl. I think you are on to something there.
    20. phuloi68, 2 years ago
      Looked at the casters and they are not old ones.

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