Mahogany trestle desk - seems like Berkey & Gay?

Discussion in 'Furniture' started by franrose, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. franrose

    franrose Member

    Hi everyone - was traveling a bit and am now back on the “rehoming antiques” project!

    This mahogany desk was originally my great-aunt’s. I was given it to use as my desk when I was a child, and then my parents used it for storing paperwork after I grew up and moved away. My great-aunt may have changed the knobs - the glass ones don’t match the gallery drawers.

    I am thinking it is very similar in feeling to Empire revival furniture by Berkey & Gay, so possibly it’s from 1915-1930? It has no markings, but there was a time when the company used paper labels, and perhaps someone removed it. I’ve included two screenshots of listings I found of similar pieces. If the desk was made by a known furniture company, does that fact add any value? Thanks in advance!

    88263ED0-1B93-4130-BE34-32EB72B3CBE5.png E09BF890-F8D0-4C2C-AB58-9BB53835942F.jpeg
  2. antidiem

    antidiem Well-Known Member

    Yours looks a bit more substantial (esp. moreso) than the first Berkey & Gay sample shown. Very possibly yours is the same brand, looks like it to me.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2019
  3. Ghopper1924

    Ghopper1924 Well-Known Member

    Looks like Empire Revival by Berkey & Gay alright. The company is still pretty well known, although it went out of business decades ago. During the late 19th century they were the most prolific furniture maker in the U.S. They became even better known after they routinely started signing/labeling their furniture in the early 20th century.
  4. franrose

    franrose Member

    A follow-up on this desk, I just sold it locally for $300 - admittedly half of the 2012 appraised value, but according to my research even at auction the activity for this style right now is utterly moribund* (too heavy, too dark, egads! too brown). The folks at the shops thought I would be lucky to get $100. I listed it on Facebook’s Marketplace, first in Antiques and then in Furniture. My great-aunt whose desk it was would be tickled, I am sure. I actually never liked it much because I was always bumping my knees on the drawers. The man who bought the desk was absolutely in love with it, so it will be useful and cherished for many more years.

    * first time I have ever used this word! ;)
  5. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    I'd say you did well.
    antidiem and Christmasjoy like this.
  6. antidiem

    antidiem Well-Known Member

    You did well, indeed! ;)
    James Conrad likes this.
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