You are here:

Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Cutler Roll Top Desk


My great grandmother's Cutler Roll-top desk was recently passed down to me. I am now the 4th generation owner and ABSOLUTELY love it!

It is in excellent condition, except for the roll top. The first section where the lock is has separated from the rest of the rolling section. Not sure when this happened.

Is it even possible to have this repaired? And if so, where could I find someone to do the repair?

Kathy- That is a common problem with many older roll tops. The fix is fairly simple. The hard part is getting the roll out of the cabinet.

A good furniture professional will overlay a piece of strong canvas on the back of the roll overlapping the main header and the body. The canvas is glued to the back with contact cement or another flexible glue. While the roll is out be sure the furniture person checks out the integrity of the entire canvas backing. Sometimes its better to just go ahead and recanvas the entire roll.

Good luck.

Fred Taylor

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Fred Taylor


I will attempt to answer questions about American antique furniture, including construction details, style, period, manufacturers, care, repair and storage. I do not have any background in appliances, musical instruments, sewing machines, trunks, lighting, clocks or children's and baby furniture and will not respond to questions about those items.


I ran an antique furniture restoration business for twenty years. I am a nationally syndicated columnist on the subject of antique furniture for such publications as Antique Week and New England Antiques Journal. I have produced one video on the subject of furniture identification and my book "HOW TO BE A FURNITURE DETECTIVE" is now available.I have also published articles in Antique Trader, Chicago Art Deco Society, Northeast Magazine, Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles, Professional Refinishing, Antiques and Art Around Florida and Antique Shoppe. You can visit my website at

BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

©2016 All rights reserved.