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Antique Slant Front Desk

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Victorian Era1909 of 2244spectaclesPhonographs
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (2 items)

    I have been searching for months, to identify the cabinetmaker and year it was made,and what kind of wood it is. When my Father and my Mother passed away, I inherited the desk along with alot of other antiques.

    The Slant Front Desk belonged to my Father's first wife, who was born in 1908, in Springfield Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I believe she inherited it from her family. A few weeks before his death, he told me that this desk was the oldest antique furniture in the house.

    The Desk has all the markings of being handtooled.(dovetail top, side of drawers, and the back of one of the back legs,looks like it has been scraped. (Scraped like a comb was scraped across a block of clay.) Some of the nail's heads are long and slender width and are small, some are newer round with a raised grove across top. I beleive the round nails were added to stabilize the desk, since my Father retired as an Airforce Officer, and moved around alot. The brass hardware have been replaced from the original. The drawers have several holes from prior hardware. Inside the desk portion there are 11 drawers, 9 regular drawers and 2 (Scroll design) tall and slinder drawers.

    I have more pictures, (close shots of back of legs, and back, and inside and outside side of the drawers, should anyone want to look at them, let me know with your e-mail address, and I will send them.

    I would appreciate any knowledge anyone might have.
    Thank you

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.


    1. Hornet Hornet, 7 years ago
      Hi , Needinform .
      I find some information on my France Book of forniture . Have a look .
    2. Needinformation Needinformation, 7 years ago
      Thank you for the information, what year are the shell designs?
      The shell pictures you show are close, but not like on the desk.
      I do know that the brass hardware, has been replaced since the desk was made.
      There are several extra holes, leading me to beleive that the hardware shown on the desk are not the original.
      I'm trying to learn what cabinetmakers used the shell design, and what peroid year span they used them.
      If you learn anymore, I would appreciate all you learn.
      Again Thank you
    3. walksoftly walksoftly, 7 years ago
      That is a wonderful desk/secretary, it's hard to tell by the photo's, but I'm wondering if the wood is Cherry. It's definitely old, based on the width of the boards on the back.
      Good luck with your quest.
    4. Needinformation Needinformation, 7 years ago
      I wish I knew what kind of wood. I ask several people and I get different answers.
      I have an Antique dinning table, the color is just about the same, as this desk, but the grain of the wood is different.
    5. chinablue chinablue, 7 years ago
      Really nice piece! I know what you mean about wanting to know what kind of wood it is. Trying to get that information by a picture is really REALLY hard. I'd put my money on either #1walnut or #2mahogany. Either way, it's a lovely piece.
    6. Needinformation Needinformation, 7 years ago
      Thank you so much for your information. Every bit if information helps me slim down the choices of woods, and compare them to the desk. I'm still looking for the cabinetmaker. It looks like most of the cabinetmakers who used the shell or fan design were in the 1700's, maybe early 1800's. Some look simular, but not the same. It's a long list, but I will not quit until I know the cabinetmaker. I like to know all facts about what I showing.
    7. walksoftly walksoftly, 7 years ago
      Here is a link to a site that could help you determine a few things about your piece,

      Also use google images to see images of the types of wood used for furniture making.
      One way to narrow it down is to determine if it is an open grain wood or not.
      Here is link on that,
    8. Needinformation Needinformation, 7 years ago
      Thank you very much for this information. I sure can use the information you recommended.
    9. Needinformation Needinformation, 7 years ago
      An expert with Yale, looked at the pictures and said the desk is probable made about 1780. With the secret drawers with the applied colonettes, it also probably was made in Massachusetts of New Hampshire. She thinks it is Maple with the secondary wood of pine.

      I'm still searching for the cabinetmaker, I have not found him yet.
      All help and imput, would be appreciated.
    10. walksoftly walksoftly, 7 years ago
      Pine boards of that width were typical of the era.
      You might have to find an Antiques Road Show coming to your area.
    11. Needinformation Needinformation, 7 years ago
      To me, after looking at your site you told me to look at woods, and knowing it probably is maple, it looks like curly or tiger maple. I always thought the look was the way a finish was applied.

      The closest Antique Show, that comes, is 90 miles. I have no way to get it there.
    12. walksoftly walksoftly, 7 years ago
      You could take one of the drawers to a reputable speciality wood store & get them to identify the species, & get more than one opinion. One thing is for sure you have a wonderful family heirloom.

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