Let me first say that nothing in my last post should be construed as criticism of any of the techniques or methods mentioned. I am agnostic on most furniture issues. There are only two furniture techniques I cannot accept: cross grain dovetails and shabby chic but there might be exceptions for one of them. And I might be softening on the other. Not softening but examining the philosophical objections. More on that later.

With that out-of-the-way, there was another auction last Friday and Saturday. I went and did my usual documentation. Some interesting pieces here as one would hope. I’ll stop going when it stops be interesting to me. When it stops being interesting to you, you’ll stop reading.

First, the ever popular dovetails variations. Last time I showed two desks with the dovetails configured with pins on the sides and tails on the top. This method secures the top and not the side as is the more expected method. This auction included this desk:

Another English slant front desk.

Another English slant front desk.

This is their picture of the same desk:

Amazing what you can do when you can control lighting, background and proximity.

Amazing what you can do when you can control lighting, background and proximity.

The important thing to note is the configuration of the dovetails:

The same non-standard layout and in the lst blog.

The same non-standard layout as in the last blog.

Three desks in the last two auctions makes me wonder if there are more and I just missed them. I like to think not. I always check the joinery. Half the desks are dovetailed. Some rabbeted. Some mitered. I think some of the mitered joints could be fully blind dovetails, especially in higher quality desks. Due to shrinkage, it is often possible to read the dovetails through veneered furniture. My conceit is that I would have noticed this configuration if seen before.

On a smaller scale, another unexpected thing on this gallery drawer:

Note the thin pins.

Note the thin pins.

The repair is a small screw:

A screw and not a nail. These people had class.

A screw and not a nail. These people had class.

Secret compartments or drawers. I found one. This is the American Southern slant front desk:

A desk is a desk whether it's on a stand or a stack of drawers.

A desk is a desk whether it’s on a stand or legs or a stack of drawers.

Look in the gallery to see what you can see:

A simple gallery.

A simple gallery.

But wait, what do I see centered just ahead of the structure?

Looks like a sliding panel of some sort.

Looks like a sliding panel of some sort. Thumbnail recesses at either end.

Remove the drawer behind it and see how it works:

With the drawer out, you can see there is a space in which to slide the panel

With the drawer out, you can see there is a space in which to slide the panel.

Slide the panel back and:

See that there is a pit containing two drawers.

see that there is a pit containing two drawers. The right drawer is sticking and hard to slide in back into place. But it does, with some effort, tuck back under.

Here is the left drawer tucked under.

Here is the left drawer tucked under.

And the right drawer.

And the right drawer.

These pictures are from my preview visit on Friday morning. I went home reviewed the online description of this desk. According to the description, there were three secret drawers. I went back over there early on Saturday morning in search of the missing drawer.

And I found it:

It pulls out from the front. The pull was missing.

It pulls out from the front. The pull was missing.

No possibility in this desk that another drawer pulls out from the back. Still, there is a lot of unused space on the hidden drawer level. If you look back at the external view of the desk you can see that there is space on the loper level between the desktop and the drawers:

What else could there be?

What else could there be?

In the realm of the different was a set of three Windsor armchairs:

From the Furniture - English & Continental category.

From the Furniture – English & Continental category.

with what they called yolk stretchers:

I think they meant yoke stretchers.

I think they meant yoke stretchers.

Yolk stretcher is what is used at mid-level hotels’ free breakfast buffets.

Arm terminations are also not what is typical of Windsor chairs:

Shades od Maloof!

Shades of Maloof! Or Thonet.

Interesting they used more contemporary techniques with very traditional legs and back.

More aberrations as they become available…