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Old secretary knee-hole desk

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Furniture8446 of 10457Folk art? Salesman Sample? Mini Roll-top deskLate 1800's Round Top Trunk?
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Posted 5 years ago


(1 item)

I am in need of identifying this desk, my great Grandmother left it to me, and she has had it since I was a child. I love the desk and really want to refinish it and fix her back to original condition.

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  1. chinablue chinablue, 5 years ago
    I'm not sure what information you're looking for caveman. I'm thinking you probably already know it's age since you know where it came from. Like you, I'd call it a secretary, but a lot of people would argue the fact that to be called something other than a slant front desk, it needs storage for books on top. Most that are called secretaries have an enclosed case on top (most always removable) with several shelves and usually 13 small windows. But you can put books on top of it if you use bookends now, right? :-) At first glance I thought it was oak, but after looking at the enlarged picture of the front, I'd be more inclined to say maple. Wood is hard for me to decipher by photo. The internal 'pigeon hole' backs and drawer sides and bottoms are most likely poplar, just judging from the photos, again, wood is pretty hard to tell from most photos. I'd say that the knob on the front was placed there after someone lost the key and took out the lock mechanism that was there originally. It looks like it matches the ones on the drawers which most likely had wooden knobs when it was made. You don't show the legs/feet which would help give you a little better idea of time/style, as would a picture of the drawers edges showing the type of joint between the front of the drawers and the sides. It's a nice little piece and with some love will be great, no doubt. I grew up working on antique furniture with my dad and always love seeing pieces that people have kept in the family for generations. Just remember, if you don't plan on keeping it, it's best left alone finish wise. But if you plan on keeping it, do what you need to love it. I have some pieces that I have refinished that would make people that buy for resale cringe, but if I'm going to live with it, I want it like I want it. *LOL* Good luck with your project!
  2. caveman4hire, 5 years ago
    The legs taper from the bottom of the desk a bit, any idea where I can find the pieces removed to restore this desk? I'll post some pictures of the legs. Please tell me what other photos you need.
    Thanks so much.
  3. caveman4hire, 5 years ago
    I really want to restore it back to it's original shape. Interested in helping pointing me in the right direction?
  4. chinablue chinablue, 5 years ago
    What sort of help do you need, caveman? Have you ever done any kind of refinishing before? I'll do what I can to get you and your desk on the right track. Post for me here, or if you're willing to put your email on here, I'd be happy to email you rather than do it here. Either way you're comfortable with.. I'd be glad to help. :-)
  5. caveman4hire, 5 years ago

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