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:


The eye-catching secretary with bookcase.

It didn’t look old but it did have:


Hand-cut dovetails, of a sort.


An elaborate gallery. And dust.


With many uniquely shaped drawers. Note the quarter palm document boxes.


An oddly veneered prospect door. The shell below is actually a drawer.


And nothing behind the door.

A few weeks later in a new antique and consignment shop in Raleigh, I found this interesting specimen:


A fancy-ish desk.


Hand-cut dovetails, of a sort.


With many uniquely shaped drawers.


An oddly (and crudely) veneered prospect door.


And nothing behind the door.

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.


Something didn’t look right with the bottom drawer.

I pulled out the drawer and saw this:


There was something behind the drawer.

There was a drawer behind the drawer.


Just a little guy, but it’s there.


Snuggled covertly behind its big brother.

A look at the back of the drawer shows:


The drawer is not only short but it has an elevated drawer bottom to allow clearance for the secret drawer’s handle. Remember the writing.


The left bottom drawer has the same secret.

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:


The same “secret” drawers.

I looked around to see what else I might be able to discover about these desks


The secret drawer bottom and handle are one. Note the writing.


The reeded quarter column looks a little irregular and not very well applied.


The frieze below the crown molding has issues as well.

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:


A chest on chest with a swan neck pediment and ball and claw feet


The front dovetails were covered over by cockbeading but the rear dovetails were switched around like on the two desks. The drawer was also stained like the desks.


The frieze fretwork is a bit less than precise.

It never occurred to me that we imported furniture especially reproductions.