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Antique Furniture/Milton Bradley Co. desk or bench

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Question
bench/desk
bench/desk  
bench/desk
bench/desk  
QUESTION: I recently purchased this bench at a local flea market.
After some research I've discovered that it is a desk made by Milton Bradley Co. for kindergarten classrooms.
It is stamped underneath Bay Terrace School. It also has casting  on the iron hardware for the folding legs that says MBC Pat'D Dec.12, 1893 Springfield Mass.
It has a ornate silver badge on the outside of the folding leg that reads Milton Bradley Co. Pat'd Dec.12 1893 Springfield Mass.
It has 1" squares cut into the top.
I have attached pics of this and would like to know if I can refinish it or if I should leave it as is? Do you know it's value? Were the squares on top used for a game? Thank You.

ANSWER: repost with a good picture of the top and of the iron

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

BENCH LEG
BENCH LEG  
BENCH TOP
BENCH TOP  
QUESTION: HERE ARE THE PICS YOU REQUESTED.
I HAVE SPOKEN TO THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESIDENT(CAROL) WHO RUNS THE MILTON BRADLEY MUSEUM IN VIENNA MAINE.
SHE SAID THAT IT IS A KINDERGARTEN DESK AND A GAME WAS PLAYED ON THE TOP OF IT.
SHE TOLD ME LITTLE ABOUT THE DESK. SHE SAID THAT IT WAS USED IN THE BAY TERRACE SCHOOL IN STATIN ISLAND NEW YORK IN 1893.
SHE ALSO SAID THAT THERE WAS ENAMEL PUT INTO THE LINES OF THE SQUARES.
SHE SAID THAT SHE HERSELF HAS NEVER SEEN ONE. NOT HAVE ONE IN IT.
BUT I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE ANY INFORMATION ON THIS DESK. IF THAT IS WHAT IT IS.
THANK YOU, SANDRA

ANSWER: i know carol. as always, carol is thorough and accurate. nothing can be added to what you have received.

to refinish.  would you describe what would be your method of refinishing?  

to me the surfaces look good in the photos.  what is the end visual result you want to achieve??

thanks and thanks for reminding me of carol's expertise and posting the info.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I was looking for a richer original wood color.
fix and tighten up the structure.
I would like to know the approx. value? and if this piece is rare or not?
Thank you again,   Sandra

Answer
You should not try to take this to the original surface color.  that would devalue the item considerably.  no sandpaper should be rubbed on this at all.  you may lightly clean the metal with a soft brass bristle brush.  the wood can be washed with gently with clean water, distilled is best.  wiping with cloths not bristle brushes.  this will take some time to remove surface dirt and debris.  

after then drying with a rag, wait until it is completely dry.  the color you see when it is wet will tell you what color the wood will be after you wax it several times.

buy toluene free Briwax in the clear or neutral color--follow the directions and wax this several times over the next 4 weeks.  do all surfaces including the metal.

as to value, since these were destroyed and few have come to the market it is difficult to determine a fair market value.  prices would be all over the charts from 500 to 1500--more in specialized shops in metro areas--depending on where it was being sold.  it is not an item that someone seeks out like a dining table but to me it is quite desirable.  let me so some searching to see if i can find something very similar that has sold in the last 3-4 years.  

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robert klein

Expertise

Regarding American antique, vintage, and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing. Please read instructions for posting.

Experience

I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of American antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars through several organizations.

Organizations
Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

Education/Credentials
BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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They deserve privacy, sorry.

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