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desk 1
desk 1  
Hello i am trying to find out any information i can about his desk. I believe it is called a piano top davenport desk.
There are some markings on the draws the look like WD0-1 M 7 W/P

Hello Ken;
Thank you for your question, regarding the 19th century Davenport.
On the basis  of your  the  two  images, I can tell you that it is and American piece of furniture, rather  than being of European origin.
Yes indeed,  as you pointed out  - these kinds of Davenports are most commonly referred to as >> Piano Top << Davenports due to the shape of the lid over the writing area.
The Davenport is in fact, a sort of  early writing  accessory and organiser, for in the  home, but the more luxury versions were also  used in offices, by shipping merchants and lawyers etc.
The Davenports  roots, go way back to the  Late Middle Ages in Europe and  at that time, they were primarily used to keep valuables and  documents safe, and out of harm򳠷ay.
Later, instead of  the  sort of the much earlier strong box design, it developed throughout  the ages, and  into the shape we all recognise today.
The up market 19th century versions, were  often richly decorated with many kinds of inlaid woods.  But not only were exotic woods frequently used ,but also ivory and mother of pearl , including secret compartments and spring loaded drawers and some  rather surprisingly clever filing systems, etc.
They  were in fact a kind of  fashion statement,  rather like having a Rolex, or Omega watch is today.
The more delicate 19th century  versions were a bit smaller and somewhat frail, but were meant for Ladies to use for writing on and  to keep all of their paperwork in order; and  also well  hidden out of sight.

The Davenport gradually developed as a >> stand alone << piece of furniture, whereas  often a cupboard - is just shoved up against a wall and  the  back, is rarely ever  seen again. However,  a Davenport, was in fact  mean to  seen from all sides.
As in passenger airline tickets and seats, there are also various  gradations in   Davenports.
This particular Davenport, would appear to be a late 19th century artefact.
However, it  is not one of the top range, but neither does it nestle, way at the  bottom.
It is, in all probability -  made  in the 1875-1885 - and as such;  America is then  being carried along on a gushing wave of indusial expansion and the opening up of the  many new  channels of wealth, such as gold , oil, grain, lumber, shipping etc.
This is the backdrop, for your  Davenport.
It represents a snapshot of  the tempo , innovations and energy that all went into developing the U.S.A.
It represents the mechanisation of furniture making, and serial production techniques based on much older traditions.  
The numbers on the drawers,  they all refer to the model and type of wood used. The top is  of course a spring loaded  filing cabinet which pops up. The  4 drawers  are  a fairy standard and  an often seen,  storage area.
The drawers are made of pine, the  much darker, stained wood is difficult to ascertain  but it may possibly be of mahogany from Yucutan.
Either way, it is a good solid piece of furniture and does have a  monetary  value.
I order for you to get if more fully assessed, my advice would be to take it along to an auction house near to you own location, and  to let then give it  a really good >hands on<<   examination.
Then, you will be given the auction value; in your own local area.
Unfortunately the internet can only take you so far in you quest.  
The rest, is  all down to solid >>hands on<< examinations, in order to reveal all,that for the moment is hidden from sight.
The yellow pages, they will easily point you in the direction of an auction house; near to where you are located.
Just in case you might be tempted to sell, then  I would definitely  put a fixed reserve on the Davenport,  and also a 10%  auctioneers discretion;  on the lower  end of the  valuation.
I wish you all the very best with the Davenport, it is indeed  a nice piece of  American furniture and  workmanship -  made by a new and emerging nation; after all the strife of the civil war.
Very good luck, at the auction house!
Take care.

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D. E. Lombardo


I am unable to answer enquiries concerning objects, which are NOT related to the areas of Fine Art and Antiques. Nor will I; on the sole basis of any photographic images be willing to give any definitive monetary valuations, or monetary opinions. In such cases I would always advise on getting “real time” valuations and opinions from reputable and qualified auction houses, or third parties. In some applicable cases, I may perhaps give general indications of value, based on the presented materials. True valuations always need a direct “hands on” approach, with perhaps also the necessary research and verifications. Broadly open to almost all questions, regarding the majority of both European, American quality objects, which are related to both Antiques and Fine Art. This also includes modern 20th century designer objects such as furniture etc. My own particular comfort zone areas would be; The decorative Arts, marble, stone, furniture, ivory, bone, amber, ceramics and porcelain, sculpture, glass, silver and metal objects etc. I will also answer inquiries, and give opinions concerning Dutch 17th, 18th and 19th century paintings. Please note that I do have limitations and cannot possibly answer all questions, as the field is very extensive. VERY IMPORTANT and PLEASE NOTE: Please note that; providing > GOOD CLEAR and Preferably High Resolution < photo's of the object(s)in question, is vital. Pics taken with a cell/mobile phone, are of a poor quality and best avoided. Posting signatures only, or just fragments of an artifact - will only provide me with insufficient information and it is often quite misleading. So please; Do post good clear overall images, with your question(s). Failing to do so, may cause rejection, which is also a great pity.


Since the early 90’s I lead a team of very enthusiastic staff at a business, where have the following disciplines; Restoration and refurbishment of historical buildings and gardens, including interior design. The restoration and care of Fine Art and Antiques at our restoration studio We are also Fine Art and Antique dealers, besides being collectors ourselves for a great number of years.

The main professional organization of which I am a member is the BNA, or Association of Dutch Architects, which is equivalent to the US; American Institute of Architects. Affiliated to the Art Loss Register in London and the International Cites Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Villa Rufolo; The forgotten paradise on earth. Published by the University of Aarhus, Denmark Book reviews and articles for International Archis Magazine, in the Netherlands.

Since I wished to become a Restoration Architect, firstly I took my BA degree in Art History. Then after graduation, I followed this immediately by studies to graduate and become a Restoration Architect. Ever since then, I have been an established Restoration Architect and Antiquarian. Since a great number of buildings are also inhabited by Fine Art fixtures and furnishings, I also became absorbed by all the artifacts, which go to fill them and not only the edifices themselves. This and much more, was the reason for gaining an advisory post on the City Commission; For The Protection and Care of Historic Monuments of Amsterdam - Amstelveen.

Awards and Honors
Citations and gratitude; “From the Town of Amalfi” for the groundwork achieved in order bring back the Historical past to the Medieval Villa Rufolo and its vital role in the region. BA in Art Hisory. Graduation Diploma as an Architect & Antiquarian; and also practicing as such. I have also completed a 3 year course in antiques, at the VHOK in Amsterdam VHOK is translated as; ( "The Association of Fine Art Dealers In The Netherlands.")

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