Featured Salesmen's sample (I think) slant front desk

Discussion in 'Antique Discussion' started by Jane Henry, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Jane Henry

    Jane Henry Active Member

    This is about 16" H. It appears to have been painted blue and red originally, as the paint was left under the escutcheons. Definitely hand made dovetail joints in the drawers and body. When I got it it was painted black and white with latex paint, which I have removed most of, but you can see some residue. Any ideas on origin or age? Also, appears to be all pine.

    IMG_1252.jpg IMG_1255.jpg IMG_1257.jpg IMG_1254.jpg
    IMG_1254.jpg IMG_1257.jpg View attachment 242218 IMG_1255.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    cxgirl, kyratango, all_fakes and 6 others like this.
  2. Jane Henry

    Jane Henry Active Member

    sorry for the repeat images
  3. KikoBlueEyes

    KikoBlueEyes On Road Trip

    Good photos. Repeats happen.
    kyratango, judy, Christmasjoy and 2 others like this.
  4. clutteredcloset49

    clutteredcloset49 Well-Known Member

    If the Edit button is still showing in your post of the pictures; Click Edit, More Options, next to each picture is a delete button.

    The Edit button disappears after a while. So if it's not there don't worry, you'll know what to do next time it happens.
  5. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Where are you located, where did you get the desk?
    I think more likely a miniature or child rather than salesman sample.
    What about the hardware, drawer pulls, hinges, are they original to the piece? That could help date it.
    The style is William & Mary if american
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  6. Jane Henry

    Jane Henry Active Member

    I have the escutcheons although they seem to be replacements, as you can see a halo of a circle around the shape of them on the drawer faces, along with the bibs of some racks the had been snipped or broken when the originals were removed. I’ve included photos of the current escutcheons, the lock, and a knob from the lull out support for the desk flap. Also a photo of the interior drawer side so you can see the dovetails. It measures 19” H and 19w. I got it from a very reputable antique dealer about a decade ago, in lieu of payment for a gilding job. It was covered in latex paint and he gave me no description at the time. F1564658-4594-402B-9231-FF44294D4EAB.jpeg F1564658-4594-402B-9231-FF44294D4EAB.jpeg 6E2D45D5-5625-42FC-80DE-58802AE085DB.jpeg E7B9669D-4AED-4DF7-A19D-6ED4B8A99EA1.jpeg 52B954AC-3CCC-4531-B8F8-AE6DA6DC1A03.jpeg 2E1F11EA-DCF8-47B0-A041-B31F332A483D.jpeg
    kyratango, Lucille.b, judy and 3 others like this.
  7. all_fakes

    all_fakes Well-Known Member

    Cute piece. I've been told that with some exceptions, most salesmen did not carry sample objects with them; so most miniatures would have been made for children.
    Someone must have loved that child a lot!
    cxgirl and kyratango like this.
  8. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    And you & dealer are located in USA? Europe? Indonesia?
    Guesses 19th century miniature/childs desk, the hinges do not appear to be hand forged so doubt it's period.
    The brass seems stamped but if not original doesn't help.
    The dovetails are large & wide so guesses not english & more likely germanic, either here (usa) or europe.
    It's to bad you stripped it all the way down to bare wood, as it's pine it likely had original paint underneath. It would have been nice to save that if possible.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    judy, kyratango and KikoBlueEyes like this.
  9. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Yeah, those are called "witness marks" and it's to bad they are MIA, they are usually still present in antique miniatures as it's not real easy to find hardware that small.
    Jane Henry and judy like this.
  10. Jane Henry

    Jane Henry Active Member

    Yes, located in USA. The dealer is located in CT, but specializes in both European and American pieces.
    It had been previously stripped actually. Someone else tried their hand at “refinishing” it. They surely sanded, but it seems as if they must had damped it with water to dissolve the gesso. I wouldn’t dream of removing original. The stripper I used only removed the latex paint. No other under paint came off as it was either a tinted gesso or other water based pigment over gesso, unaffected by stripper. There were definitely remnants of some decorative lines painted along mouldings (blue over red).
    thank you so much for your input.
  11. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Yeah, BUMMER!
    It's a very nice antique miniature that has lived a hard life. It is almost certain it was decorated with paint originally.
    There are several theories about antique miniatures, they were built for the children of the wealthy or, apprentice woodworkers were practicing their woodworking skills.
    Either way i agree with all-fakes, not a salesman sample.
    This miniature is a good candidate for restoration, it would look great with some TLC & some paint.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    clutteredcloset49 and komokwa like this.
  12. Jane Henry

    Jane Henry Active Member

    So glad for all this input. I have been a restorer for over 30 years, but in a very specific area, so when I get something outside of that I feel like a newbie.
    James Conrad likes this.
  13. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Although antique miniatures can often sell for a couple hundred to a couple thousand, outstanding examples can go for big money, especially if american.

    English, miniature Bombay slant lid in mahogany, 18th century sold at Cobbs for $700.


    On the other end of the scale, this outstanding example, C. 1720 American miniature sold last year at the Americana Shows/sales for a stunning $87,500.00 USD

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
  14. Jane Henry

    Jane Henry Active Member

  15. Jane Henry

    Jane Henry Active Member

    Wow, the feet on that second one a beautiful. Makes mine look like a hobo. I guess I can slice a good 87,000 right of the top!
    James Conrad likes this.
  16. James Conrad

    James Conrad Well-Known Member

    Well, i wouldn't say hobo. Restored, it could be very sharp looking, it has "serpentine" drawer fronts which are nice and, it is an antique miniature, no doubt about that.
    It just got treated rough somewhere along the way but hey, it survives! hopefully on the come back trail now. :singing:
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
    clutteredcloset49 likes this.
  17. Bev aka thelmasstuff

    Bev aka thelmasstuff Colored pencil artist extraordinaire ;)

    Does the lock work or is the spring broken? Jon makes keys for full size antique locks like this all the time. He has to file them by hand.
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