It had been days since I looked at old furniture. I was in the early stages of withdrawal. Fortunately a local auction house had a preview that very day. I went and saw many wonderous things. And a few mundanes. And I took lots of PICTURES.

One desk caused me to stop and think for a bit. At first it didn’t make sense. I stared for a while and finally figured out what was going on. The only question now was if this was a creative correction of an oversight or was this the plan the whole time.

First look at this fall front desk:

A nice desk but nothing out of the ordinary.

A nice desk but nothing out of the ordinary.

Then I opened the top drawer for my usual dovetail shot and saw this:

That's odd.

That’s odd.

And another view:

One just like it on the left side of the drawer.

One just like it on the left side of the drawer.

Stop and think about this for a minute. There are two sliding bolts on the inside of a drawer that can only be accessed when the drawer is open. Makes them a little less useful than one would hope.

Being a curious lad, I looked for an explanation. I examined the desk and finally came up with a working hypothesis.

Look at the gallery of the desk:

Nice but nothing out of the ordinary.

Nice but nothing out of the ordinary.

Like many similar desks, it has a sliding panel to allow you to quickly store your papers out of view.

One way to quickly clear your desk.

One way to quickly clear your desk.

The fall front has a lock. The drawer doesn’t. Papers would be secure in the gallery but not in the drawer. Then it occurred to me that you could slide the the blots locked through the sliding panel in the gallery. Just reach into the drawer from above and secure the drawer. How this is easier than moving papers into a drawer with a conventional lock escapes me, but, there you have

Back to my original question, was this a correction to an oversight or the way it was designed to work from the beginning? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just add a lock to the drawer? What do I know? Might just be the way it was done.

There were other pieces of interest at this auction including this chest with tambour and drawers:

Small cabinet on top is not part of the chest.

Small cabinet on top is not part of the chest.

Interesting details on the legs and upper carcass.

Might have to try this on my next shaker chest.

Might have to try this on my next shaker chest.

This desk looked just like one at a local antiques mall.

I blogged about this one.

I blogged about this one.

Seems when a local dealer died, their inventory was sold at auction

And finally there was this odd item.

I know my grandfather had one of these.

I know my grandfather had one of these.

Don’t remember what it is called and a Google image search turned up nothing. More once common items that have fallen from our collective consciences.

Oh well. To see the entire set from this auction, click THESE WORDS.