I have a roll top desk that I got from a friend years ago. I cannot find anything out about it since he died a couple of years ago.
It's made of Oak I believe and stuck to the underside of the top section is some old newspaper dated Sunday, January 4, 1903.
I have pictures of the mechanism that locks the drawers and pictures of the newspaper pieces, and can take a picture of the whole thing if need be.
I was wondering if anyone could tell by the construction of the slats and drawer locks around how old this thing is.
Thanks for any help
The pictures are here: http://blueirish.net/images/1a.jpg http://blueirish.net/images/2a.jpg http://blueirish.net/images/3a.jpg http://blueirish.net/images/4a.jpg
Is this possibly Amish? Looks like some pictures I've seen of Amish Roll Tops.
Also is it possible that it was crafted by an individual making it a one of a kind and totally untraceable?
There are no markings of any kind anywhere on this desk.
Or should I just forget about its origins, use it as a convenient piece of furniture and move on?
Wow, very exciting and very mysterious. It sure looks like Amish but I think it was 'self made'. (Not by a specialized carpenter). I am not sure of course but that's the feeling I am getting when looking at this incredible authentic piece of furniture.
("january 4, 1903" as showing on the newspaper bit - probably the year it was made).
Thanks for the reply on this. I am in the process of moving right now which is how I came to notice that newspaper on the bottom of the top.
However, when I unwrap it on the other end of the move...around mid-April, I'll take a picture of it in its assembled state. Might be easier to give me an idea of roughly where it came from and/or when.
Yes, you are right. Having it assembled and showing the model would certainly make it easier looking for its origins.
Good luck with the move and hopefully you'll be settled in at your new place without too much headaches (just moved myself and am totally 'feeling for you' )
Okay, Sorry it took so long to get back with photos, but had big surgery on my spine, AND closed escrow on the same day on my old house which meant I had to have new digs ready..and on and on unfortunately.
Now, here are some links to what the desk looks like put together [ http://blueirish.net/images/rolltop/1.jpg http://blueirish.net/images/rolltop/2.jpg http://blueirish.net/images/rolltop/3.jpg http://blueirish.net/images/rolltop/4.jpg
If there are other views you would like to see, let me know.
Now, a bit of history on how I came to own this desk. I was in the garage of a very good friend of mine around 1992 or so. While in there, I noticed this desk with a CAR BATTERY SITTING ON IT!
I asked him why he would do such a thing.
He said, ...my wife is always going to estate sales and things like that and she drags this **** home and I'm supposed to make room for it. So I made use of it. Do you want it? You can have it.
So we loaded it into my truck and I dragged it home. About two weeks later he said his wife was really angry about his giving the desk away. I offered to give it back and even drive it back to his house. But he said, ...no, I gave it to you and it's yours.
I don't know where his wife got it from and my friend committed suicide in 2006. So my research in that direction has hit the bukhead so to speak.
Any comments or suppositions would help.
Thanks a million for anything you can offer.
Ps there seems to be something wrong with the script for this forum. I am looking at the version to edit and it shows only one instance of everything, yet in normal view, I see two of many lines. Whatever
Wow Irishman331 That's very understandable you would like to know more about a present your friend who's departed has given you. Such a sad story
Still, without makers marks it is always very difficult to find out where and by whom something was made unfortunately.
However, I found that there is an online blog by a man who's an official appraiser and perhaps he recognizes a detail of the desk that might help you further.
This blog is:
I hope you're feeling better now - after the spine surgery and have fully recuperated
Hope you do not mind my input.
Your oak s roll desk is a manufactured piece from the 1890-1910 period. There were literally tens of thousands of manufacturers in this country at that time in history.
This in no way detracts form its uniqueness, desirability or value. The condition appears very good and it has been refinished at some time. That does not hurt as I am sure that the original coating/finish had deteriorated which necessitated the refinishing. These were meant to be used and were found in offices and homes from around 1870 to 1930. The later styles were the c shaped rolls.
I don't mind your inpurt at all. Indeed since you were able to give me some general information on it, I rather value it.
Yes, if it's that old, I'm sure it's been refinished. Likely was quite a few ago. I oil it once a week the same as other nice wood pieces, with Old English oil. It seems to have improved the appearance of it over time. I use this everyday so it's nice to know its origins, but it is still a good useful piece of furniture.
Thanks very much to all for the input.
I saw the pictures of teh desk parts you posted a year ago. It looks like a roll top desk I purchased. Do you have a picture of the whole desk you couled send me, I am looking to age my desk also.