Last Friday and Saturday I attended a furniture seminar at MESDA, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Art in Winston Salem, NC. To cut and paste from their website:

The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) is the preeminent center for researching, collecting, and exhibiting decorative arts made and used by those living and working in the early South. MESDA is home to the finest collection of southern decorative arts in the country.

Nice stuff, like this.

Nice stuff, like this.

And this. Views from the Carolyn and Mike McNamara Southern Masterworks Gallery.

And this. Views from the Carolyn and Mike McNamara Southern Masterworks Gallery.

I have been there several times and have taken hundreds (close to 500) pictures. Yet today’s post is about two pieces I saw at area antiques malls on the way home.

Somethin’s Wrong With the Boy.

MESDA has the best of the best, an amazing collection of venerated furniture. Things to be worshipped, studied and admired from afar. But not necessarily relatable. I’ll never own anything on this level. Or be able to build anything on the level. Or examine anything on this level at a retail establishment.

I enjoy spending time with primitive and vernacular furniture. Furniture that my ancestors might have had. Furniture that might not survived into the 21st century.

Like this odd chest:

Not your father's chest. Maybe your grandfather's...

Not your father’s chest. Maybe your grandfather’s…

Dovetailed.

But big, equal dovetails.

But big, equal dovetails.

Interestingly decorated base.

Interestingly decorated base. Back has the same shapes but no decoration.

Bin lids are not hinged. Right bin has a drawer:

Needs work. A fixer upper.

Needs work. A fixer upper.

Left bin has no drawer:

Nothing to fix unless it has been removed.

Nothing to fix unless it has been removed.

Feet are faux-wheels:

 They don't turn.

They don’t turn.

The other piece is from a more upscale shop. It is a rather unique desk that hides its complexity:

Can't tell much from the outside.

Can’t tell much from the outside. Interesting use of grain and veneer.

It looks like and is a fall-front desk. Drop the front and reveal:

A tambour door and some drawers.

A tambour door and some drawers.

Open the tambour and see:

Some more drawers and pigeon holes.

Some more drawers and pigeonholes.

Look at the floor in the pigeonholes and see that they:

Slide back and expose a storage area below.

Slide back and expose a storage area below.

The drawer below the fall front is dummy drawer, it doesn’t open. Accessible only from above.

Other things of interest, the pulls and rosettes are unique:

Receeesd into the drawer front.

Recessed into the drawer front.

There is a crack  in the veneer about a third of the way up the fall front:

Looks like the front is glued up from boards running horizontally. Side to side not from hinge to end which might have been stronger.

Looks like the front is glued up from boards running horizontally. Side to side not from hinge to end which might have been stronger.

And the drawers are dovetailed.

You had to know that was coming.

You had to know that was coming.