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Antique Furniture/identifying a secretary


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drop leaf secretary
drop leaf secretary  
QUESTION: Hello,  I purchased this piece several years ago in a second hand store it was badly damaged and painted over with brown paint.I did the best I could do with what I had and underneath the paint was a lovely wood colored red I am not sure of the wood and could use your help identifying it, the back had Warner Bro and some identification numbers which led me to believe that this was a prop at one time in probably some period western, the toungue and groove on this piece is just magnificent and the top slides off the trestle base, there is a stamp in the wood on the back that looks like a fish in a circle, it looks to be handmade and by a master craftsman. I was wondering about your thoughts on who might have constructed this and what time period. I am calling this a small front leaf secretary and wonder if I am correct. Thank you for your time and knowledge it is greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: send a bunch of photos of all tahe surfaces, labels and such to my emial.  send the photos as attachments to ONE email and include the post.  Also, please make sure the photos are in focus.


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QUESTION: Hi Bob, my follow up question is in your opinion why do you think  it was constructed so that the top can come off the legs? You just pop out the wooden pins on either side and she just slides right up and off the trestle base. I am curious.

John M

There were often pieces built for a dual purpose.  I have a writing desk in a similar form as yours, fall front, cubby holes... that is in rosewood veneer.  the top comes off and the tale it sits on opens our for a game table.

Yours might have been built so that it could have been placed on a table, or so that it could have been more easily moved.  The moldings around the bottom of the desk part suggest that.  and , it is possible that teh base could have been made later, that you will have to determine but looking at the wood, tooling marks, and surface.

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robert klein


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.


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.

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

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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