Like French Provincial meets Restoration Hardware.
Like French Provincial meets Restoration Hardware.
Ya just never know what you might find when go out for the day.
A few weeks back I headed west to Greensboro and while there, visited a new location of a antiques/consignment shop. There, my eyes were drawn to this secretary with bookcase:
It didn’t look old but it did have:
A few weeks later in a new antique and consignment shop in Raleigh, I found this interesting specimen:
I thought there is a possibility that these two desks may be from the same maker and turned to walk away when I saw that the lower right drawer in the gallery was not closed properly.
I pulled out the drawer and saw this:
There was a drawer behind the drawer.
A look at the back of the drawer shows:
If you’re like me, and I hope you’re not, you are wondering about the secretary with bookcase back in Greensboro. I had a chance to go back there and look. And what did I discover? This:
I looked around to see what else I might be able to discover about these desks
The two pictures above show the type of inconsistent workmanship I haven’t seen on American made furniture. It’s not that it mightn’t exist, it’s just that I have never seen it. This level of work is consistent with imported reproduction furniture I saw at a store in San Francisco. The color and finish is the same and the fact that the pieces are stained inside and out also leads me to believe they are imported reproductions. (Is is a reproduction if there was never a original?)
A quick google search led me to this desk being a Heritage Benchmade Furniture Chippendale Escritoire Desk for $699. From Indonesia. Never found a similar secretary with bookcase.
Last weekend, my wife and I went out to Asheville. The we drifted a little further west to visit some craft shops my wife had found in Waynesville. I went in search of an antiques shop and found this piece:
It never occurred to me that we imported furniture especially reproductions.
Every year or so I manage the trip to Charlottesville, VA to visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. It is a most remarkable place and I always find something new to admire. One of my favorite pieces is actually his standing desk located in the Visitor Center. It is TJ’s standing/adaptable/tall desk for reading or drawing. The following captions are from the official web Monticello web site:
The full and official description of the desk lives HERE.
The desk is believed to have been built between 1770 and 1785 and there is no indication that Mr. Jefferson took any part in the design or building of the desk. He just owned and used it.
Still, it’s an interesting and historic desk.
While visiting friends in Baltimore this past December, it was recommended that we visit the Homewood Museum on the Johns Hopkins University campus .
Homewood was built from 1801-06 for Charles Carroll, Jr., the only son of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. The elder Carroll financed the project as a wedding gift to his son upon his marriage to Harriet Chew of Philadelphia.
Although the original furnishings were scattered, we were told that this desk was in house when the Carroll family lived there.
Take note that the forward drawers are false drawers. The rear drawers may be real but I wasn’t allowed to explore.
I do wonder if the pullout drawers were made as space saving device?
Locally, there are two auction houses I check out regularly. One auction house has sales most Friday afternoons and has reasonable items with occasional dips into the flea market realm and box lots. The other house has at least two auctions a month on Saturday mornings and usually has higher-end items.
Every once in a while, there are similar items at both auctions the same week. This was true in October of 2018. The Friday auction had this sewing cabinet:
The Saturday auctioneer was offering this:
Description: 1880s, walnut and mixed woods, hinged lid with floral and banded inlay, interior with mirror and divided compartments over two drawers with relief carving raised on stylized cabriole legs with stretcher base.
Size: 29 x 24 x 20 in.
Note: Cabinet contains sewing ephemera.
Condition: Surface wear and some expected scuffs to lid and feet.
This cabinet has the work storage drawer and another dovetailed shallow drawer.
Unfortunately, by the time I saw the second cabinet, the Friday auction was well underway and I couldn’t go back and get more pictures of the first.
The are of similar sizes and shape with similar work drawers. Make one wonder if they are from the same factory or was that just a very common style of sewing cabinet?
Just one is a little nicer. And more expensive.
Looking through my recent posts, I realized that it has been quite a while since I wrote about one of our favorite topics, the gout rocker. Starting with Behold the Lowly Gout Rocker back in January of 2014, I have enjoyed sharing with you pictures and information about the one piece of furniture I hope never to have reason to use.
First up I what I like to call “gout rocker classic”.
Next is a more rural version:
This rocker screams 1960’s:
The next item is not technically a gout rocker but is definitely on the gout appliance spectrum. This one is for people more likely to have developed gout from foie gras and prosecco than pork rinds and PBR.
To give some historic perspective to the gout appliance and help celebrate the season, I took this still from the 1972 movie of the 1969 Broadway play 1776.
In this scene, at a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, summer of 1776, John Dickinson (Donald Madden) of Pennsylvania questions the motive of John Adams of Massachusetts (William Daniels) in his push for Independency while Dr. Benjamin Franklin of Philadelphia (Howard Da Silva) waits quietly in the back to spring forth with some of his legendary wit and perspectives.
Spoiler alert. the Continental Congress voted and accepted Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.. Thus a new Nation is born.