Help valuing my dad's rolltop desk?

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by PWest, Feb 12, 2024.

  1. PWest

    PWest New Member

    Hello! My dad got this rolltop desk in the 1970s from an antique store in Virginia. He always said it was special, but I have no idea why. He passed away this fall and my mom is downsizing wants me to sell it for her. Is it just worth a couple hundred bucks on Facebook Marketplace, or is it something special? Any advice would be so appreciated. I've included hopefully relevant photos. Thank you!

    Attached Files:

    judy likes this.
  2. wlwhittier

    wlwhittier Well-Known Member

    It appears in great' quite clean. Others will be along with a better sense of its age, maker an' other observations. Sorry about your loss, PWest.
    PWest and judy like this.
  3. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    I think it might actually be a repro made around the time your dad bought it. they used to sell kits where you could build these,my folks had one.Bigger than yours though. I remember dad cursing a blue streak putting it together.
    NewEngland, PWest, judy and 1 other person like this.
  4. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    sorry for your loss !
    PWest and judy like this.
  5. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    those magnetic door locks...... right out of the 70's !
    Revenant, PWest, judy and 2 others like this.
  6. Virginia

    Virginia New Member

    If you sell on eBay, you could list it for local pickup only. Then have it on Marketplace to and hope one of them works.
    PWest and judy like this.
  7. mirana

    mirana Well-Known Member

    It looks nicely made, but I agree the magnetic closure and phillips screws say vintage, for a start.
    PWest, judy and komokwa like this.
  8. PWest

    PWest New Member

    So do the magnetic closures and screws indicate that it isn't very old or valuable? Thank you for your help!
    komokwa likes this.
  9. Debora

    Debora Well-Known Member

    They indicate that your father's desk wasn't an antique when he bought it and would be considered vintage now.

    mirana and komokwa like this.
  10. Lucille.b

    Lucille.b Well-Known Member

    Agree with everyone above that the magnetic doors (unless some kind of replacement) suggest not antique. However even if old, I don't think that this has huge resale value. In your dad's defense, in the 1970's, older roll top desks were in the height of fashion and sometimes sold in the thousands. Tastes have changed and what at one time was sort of a must have antique now you can barely give away.

    I would suggest taking a quick look in the inside sides of the drawers near the front in case there might be a maker's name so you could see if any are sold and how much for. Of course important to find "sold", and not "asking price".

    A personal story. A year ago a neighbor asked me to look at a family roll top desk, this one was from the late 1800s, and had some beautiful construction. They tried Craigslist and Nextdoor (I think they were asking $200) after no takers in a month since it was taking up space in their living room, they tried giving it away free. Even that took a few weeks. We are in an area where traditional antiques do not do well at all, so location matters too, so depending where you are, you might have better luck.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2024
    mirana, komokwa and johnnycb09 like this.
  11. bosko69

    bosko69 Well-Known Member

    Sadly,I've got to agree w/ Lucille 100%. In the 70's herds of folks would run by the MCM in a kamikaze run for the roll tops ! It's a beautiful piece though w/ a lovely patina-perhaps keep it in remembrance of your father.
    PS-Sorry about your Dad.
  12. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

    Agree with all the above. Your roll top is a nice quality reproduction but not something most people want these days. One positive aspect to it is that it is not as large as many. You might find a buyer for that reason alone. A couple hundred is worth a shot. You can always come down if you have no takers.
    mirana, komokwa and Lucille.b like this.
  13. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Desks sold, if not for a lot, at one point in the Pandemic. Now I'm afraid they're a tough sell in my area.
    mirana and komokwa like this.
  14. bluumz

    bluumz Quite Busy

    As evelyb30 says, desks were very popular in the early months of the pandemic when so many people were suddenly finding themselves working from home... but rolltops were the last ones taken because they just didn't offer the amount of flat workspace or compatibility with computers/cords/etc that people wanted. (My oldest daughter was in that predicament.)
    A quick look at my local FB Marketplace now shows 80% of the rolltops listed at under $100... and a lot of them available.
  15. bosko69

    bosko69 Well-Known Member

    They were a valuable part of our history for decades.
  16. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    mine still is......
    Dad bought it in th 70's, & stained it himself, and had a new desk !!!

    & he got rid of his stunning MCM Danish , desk , chair , wall unit , and drawers ...

    HE WHAT ??????????????:eek::eek::jawdrop::jawdrop::inpain::inpain:

    He had that stunning furniture since 59........and then it was gone !!

    I loved that old set and played Daddy on it growing up .............;)
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2024
  17. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    (((sob!))) But... who knew? Back then it was just an old desk of no great greatness. In the 90s I bought MCM design books at library book sales and got laughed at. Wish I still had them, but I was bullied by my mother's derision ("what did you buy THAT for?") into redonating them.
    komokwa likes this.
  18. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    I luv my Dad....but he turned his stunning office into a guest bedroom, and added a fake black leather couch / fold out bed.
    What a pig it was...... huge.......80,000 pounds if it was an ounce !!!
    Took 4 big guys to get it out of the house and into my new home when they downsized ....and the swearing going up my tight staircase could be heard 10 miles away !!!
    Ghopper1924 likes this.
  19. komokwa

    komokwa The Truth is out there...!

    and I'm reliving all of this cuz......on the rant forum...:(
  20. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    (sigh) Sofabeds are a form of hell all their own.
Draft saved Draft deleted
Similar Threads: Help valuing
Forum Title Date
Furniture help identifying/valuing marble pedestal table May 17, 2022
Furniture Help Identifying and Valuing Old Childs Chair Jan 11, 2021
Furniture Need help with identifying and valuing dresser from 1930's Dec 14, 2020
Furniture Help valuing a drop leaf side table please Nov 24, 2020
Furniture Rishel desk - need help valuing piece Oct 11, 2020

Share This Page