Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Slant front desk


Front left
Front left  

Greetings Mr Klein,
I recently purchased an old slant front desk from a guy who inherited it along with 120 other pieces of furniture from an Aunt in Virginia.
I have found several slant front desks on various antique and auction sites, but have not seen any that have the particular combination of details as the one I've got.
In particular, mine has a single serpentine contour that is convex in the middle and most I have seen are the opposite; concave at the middle and convex at the sides.
Also, mine has a different inset detail in the desk area.  I have two small drawers at each side and one drawer in the top middle.  I also have the typical "document" vertical drawers, as well as several divided nooks.
The drawer pulls are wooden and seem to me to be original. I can't find any indication of obsolete screw holes where alternate handles or pulls have been replaced.
The only marking I can find on the desk is a stamped number on the back of the top panel. On the underside, I see circular saw marks.
Each of the four drawers and the desk cover have cam locks, but I can find no marks on the locks.
I was told this piece is from the 1920's or so, but my 94 year old, former furniture maker, Grandfather says it's older than him.
Can you help me figure out when this piece was made?

It is machine made in a manufactory--old term for factory.  Large or small.

It is an uncommon form mainly due to the shallow serpentine frontal curve, the cock beading around the drawers, the splayed legs and frame, the frame and panel back, no center door in the interior, solid rather than laminated drawer bottoms, and the quartered corners.  All things that tell us it was meant to more closely follow the earlier styles rather than the more common style of the 1900-1920s with bolder serpentine fronts, standard interiors, ball and claw feet front and rear that glued and nailed to the underneath.

Perhaps it was bench made in the factory rather than a full production run, but I would not be surprised if there used to be a paper label on the back, either glued on or tacked on and possibly a thin metal label from Maddox company.

these were popular and made from 1880 to 1920.  I would place this at 1880-1900 epoch. although there is no definitive thing that says so there are things that say not 1920s.

i would like more pictures of the un seen areas if you dont mind.  clear and infocus.

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

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

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

Past/Present Clients

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]