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Antique Furniture/info request on Lifetime Furniture desk


front of desk
front of desk  

back and side
back and side  
My brother was given this desk when St. Ignatius Retreat House in Manhasset, NY closed down in August.  We would like to sell it but have had difficulty finding much information on it.  What we've discovered is that it's from the Grand Rapids Bookcase and Chair Co., and might be from one of the heavily carved European revival lines - maybe Spanish - from the 20's or 30's.  Before St. Ignatius was a retreat house it was the home of utilities and tabacco mogul Nicholas Brady and his wife, Genevieve.  Brady's widow gave it to the jesuit's in 1937. This massive estate is a Tudor Revival Palace.  Any information you could give would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Paula,

Your desk, most likely dates to the 1920's when many Tudor homes were being built in America.
This style of home was very popular during the time period, but the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg,in the 1930's, becoming a major tourist destination, pre-Disney World. Tourist from all around the country suddenly wanted colonial houses and appropreiate furnishings, killing off the interest in anything from the Tudor period.

The Tudor style started to take a back seat to the Colonial Revival period of the 1930's,with the early Baroque or Jacobean style furniture, like your desk, quickly falling out of favor.

With my business, specializing in Kittinger furniutre, a company that also made a large amount of Jacobean style furniture, I have seen a very limited interst over the years in this particular style of furniture, so much so, that we do not purchase this style of furniture, due to is heavy appearance.

With today's consumer, looking for furniture with simple, clean lines, leaves your desk to go begging in the present marketplace.. My comments might help you understand why the former owner might have decided to donate the desk, rather than have to dispose of it in 1937.

As for as value is concerned, you might find a specialized buyer in the $500. to $800. range, but I strongly recommend that donating pieces like this for a tax deduction at the end of the year, to be the most painless way to go.

Best Wishes,

George E. Harrison III

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George E. Harrison III


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