I just got back from a week in Santa Fe, NM. I had a week’s work in Las Vegas. It is one of those towns that I probably wouldn’t use my own money to visit. If you pay me, I’ll go. My wife took advantage of the free hotel room and cheap airfares and flew to join me at the week’s end. From there, we flew to Santa Fe to vacation for a week. We were joined there by her beach buddy. She had always wanted to see Santa Fe.

This worked out well. We all get along famously and having a third person along helped with decisions on where to take meals. This also freed me from the obligation of visiting every craft shop and gallery, allowing me to visit some museums and antiques shops. Everybody wins.

On Saturday, they binged on a busy day of shops and a significant crafts festival in the Plaza. This left me free to hit every antiques shop I could find. Problem is there are only a few pure antiques shops. They are mostly self-identified as consignment shop leaving them free to sell whatever they can. The last shop I visited was a big place with mostly antiques with some mid-century modern and eclectic imported furniture to fill out the inventory.

There were two sets of three related items that jumped out at me. Similar but not the same. Like this chair:

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A typical staked chair.

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Built as you would expect a staked chair to be built.

Then I found this slightly fancier variation on a theme”

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You must pay extra for all the ornamentation and carvings.

Then, as the most extreme example of chair design, this curious example:

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Not actually staked but a variation on the theme. Fancy above.

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And fancy below.

 

The other set of three was a cluster of three butler’s desks. Butler’s desk is a rather broad definition that typically means, the like the old Quasar TV, it has its works in a drawer. Usually, a drawer pulls out and has a writing surface and storage behind the drop down drawer front. For example, this desk:

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Looks like a chest of drawers.

With this gallery in a drawer:

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Small drawers, pigeonholes and a prospect.

This is a taller version with china above:

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Storage above and below.

The butler’s desk part:

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Really rather plain and relatively uninteresting.

The two knobs do have ivory, strike that, bone centers:

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Could be mother-of-pearl.

A tasteful selection of decoration:

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Cross banding, string banding, cock beading and a complex profile on the nominal desktop.

And below, a press, shallow drawers behind doors:

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This might have been and actual butler’s desk with china above and linen below

The third desk was the surprise; I did not see it coming. It looks like any other chest of drawers:

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A beautiful dresser with great veneer.

Except, it has a desk in a drawer:

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Shorter than most.

With a latch only on the left:

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Most have latches on both sides.

More from this consignment shop tomorrow.