I just flew back from South Africa, and boy, are my clichés tired.

I had some opportunities to look at furniture while in South Africa. Less than I would have liked but enough to keep me curious. I wanted to see unique and different furniture and trends and ideas that were unlike things I have seen here in the States.

There were many variants that caught my eye. One subtle one is the frequent use of dark legs with lighter tables:

That's different. Not Shaker.

That’s different but typical.

I did see one really unique piece at the Village Museum in Stellenbosch. The museum is a collection of four furnished period houses. The houses were built between 1709 and 1850. These will be covered in upcoming blogs.

The Blettermanhuis (1789) contained an unique version of the slant front desk:

If you ignore the color and the form, it is just like all other slant front desks.

If you ignore the color and the form, it is just like all other slant front desks.

It is a unique form. I look at it an wonder how easy it is to use the writing surface considering the bump out at the bottom of the desk. Looks cool, though.

The next day we found an antiques warehouse in Slellenbosch. And found this desk:

Uniquely similar.

Uniquely similar.

Not twins but definitely family. Being an antiques shop, I had some latitude to poke around a bit. Can’t usually do that in museums. A side view gives you a feel for its profile:

A definite bump out at the bottom.

A definite bump out at the bottom. Not as severe as the museum piece.

With a gallery:

All sorts of drawers and stuff.

All sorts of drawers on an angle. No lopers but top mounted support hardware.

Of course I had to look for the drawer dovetails.

There be dovetails.

There be dovetails. And the odd nail or two.

They had to work harder on this one.

They had to work harder on this one. They like challenges.

More later.