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Child/teen butler's desk - 20th century

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    Posted 1 year ago

    (1 item)

    I know this isn't a valuable antique, but I'm just trying to get some insight on what decade and where this might have been made. Factory-made dovetailing with glue, simple drawers with sturdy plywood bottoms and no tracks inside, perhaps mid 20th century or even later, seems to be leatherette with gold stamped design on the desktop. The unusual thing about this is its petite size (seemingly a child's or teen's writing desk) and how the top "drawer" flips *up* (rather than down/out) to reveal a slide-out desk top. The flipped-up drawer creates the backstop on top. Handles have a simple octagonal design. No factory marks on this anywhere except for a "154" and a "151" stamped into two of the wood pieces. The plywood backing seems to have been added later. This desk was very nicely cleaned up and restored though there is a small bit of corrosion on some of the drawer handles. Plain but sweet.

    How old (or young) is this and where is it from?

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    1. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 1 year ago
      I would venture to say it was made after 1939 and probably not until after WWII. It has Soss hinges which weren't mass produced until around 39 then during the war years lack of steel limited production. Just my guess based on one element.
    2. scottvez scottvez, 1 year ago
      Great information on the hinge-- agree, looks to be mid 20th century.

    3. ebedgert, 1 year ago
      Thanks, yes, the hinge struck me as modern, but I didn't know the history of that type of hinge.

      Any guesses on country of manufacture? When I bought this I went online expecting to see oodles of similar examples of it out there (as I guessed it was a mass-produced children's desk) , but I haven't come across anything that resembles it at all. (I don't get the impression that butler's desks were in demand for the child or teen set...)

      The desktop does seem to consciously copy 19th century antiques, with the gold stamping (and there is also a faint but simple tooled design along the edge beyond the gold pattern).
    4. danwayne, 1 year ago
      i think i have this same item. mid century probably. I think my grandparents bought it new in denver, probably at a department store, in the 50's. mine is almost like new, hasn't been refinished. i wish i knew more about it.

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