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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/old G.R School Furniture desk


QUESTION: Recently was given this folding school desk that has been in a shed for years. It has 1894 engraved on the inner side (see upper right of picture), also has a patent number, the name of company, and Grand Rapids Mich printed on hinge. It has little bug spots on the wood seat, which are not dents, but not sure how deep they go (how much sanding would be able to get rid of it). It folds up fine. Also has an ink well hole. Could you tell me how much approx is it worth and is it a rare chair? Do you personally think this is an interesting find? thanks

ANSWER: please use the followup function and post a very clear and infocus picture of the top picture.  also of the damage to the wood.

Yes this is a great find, super.  not rare, thousands were made but not many around is good condition, as the cast metal usually gets broken.

do NOT try to sand out any flaws.

you can begin by using a mild dishwashing liquid and wash the whole item.  try a spot on the wood first to make sure it does not discolor the wood.  dont soak but wash and rinse well.


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

QUESTION: Thanks. Any idea how much it is worth?

ANSWER: as soon as i see a good picture of the cast I can help.  the desk 4 picture-i need to see the complete casting lettering.  clear, infocus, no glare, readable.


might have to send to my email if you cannot repost as follwoup

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


QUESTION: Sorry I don't have a clearer pic of where it is engraved with 1894. It def says that, if I were not currently far from desk I would take another for you to ser. I read that the company was founded before that year, so I'm guessing that's when the chair was made? Here are 2 other pics of engraving details. Thanks for your input.

I did not doubt what you said, just needed to see more the patent date year than the stamped 1894 year although both are nice to have.  with patent dates you can look thing up more easily as that was actually cast when the metal was formed.  the 1894 number was stamped in.  that is good too an all are clues.

the desk is definitely late 1890-1900.  if it is not over worked or over cleaned it would have an in shop retail value of 350-400,  the condition and origianlity is most important.


hope that helped some.  please feel free to ask anything you need.

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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

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