Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Pinterest icon

antique library table or writing desk

antique library table or writing desk hight 27.75"depth 27.75"length 48" library table maybe writing desk. I’m guessing its made of oak maybe cherry. has one large drawer with skeleton key hole. the stamp pictured is from the underside of the desk with the drawer pulled out. there is rollers on the feet. not entirely sure on the weight of the item but it is heavy.

oak maybe cherry
Distinguishing marks: 
none only stamp pictured
Size and dimensions of this item: 
hight 27.75" depth 27.75" length 48"
For Sale?: 


Thomas Gordyn's picture

I would date this piece approx 1860 - 1870's  

Period:  Victorian (American) Gothic Desk

Based on design of this piece and style I would date this piece 1860-1870's.  Andrew Jackson Downing who traveled to England in the 1850's introduced this design in archetecture styles in the US and eventually it lead to this style of furniture being made in the United States. The screws and jointing were of this period. The keyhole guard plate similar to this was used earlier in history and during this time.  It prevented people scratching the wood while trying to open the desk in the dim lit evenings of the time. The screw heads are of this period. Here are some example desk from the period from England

As you can see the American style a little simpler and straight, The manufatures and craftsmen at the time enjoyed the simpleness in construction. This furniture was heavy, durable and made to last. It was made for practical use more then decoration.

Its to bad this desk has endured so much damage over time. I would call this a piece possible to worth having refinished. I would agree this is most likely oak as it was in common use for pieces in England at the time. 

Current estimate value : $100 - $300  due to damage, replaced drawer bottom, bad glueing, wood seperation, uneven finishes, unprofessional repairs and this list goes on, 

If I had this piece, I would have it professionally redone. They would take all the pieces apart, strip, refinish, repair, glue properly and restore its origianlly beauty. It is important that authentic period wood be used in the re-construction, Many skilled refinishers buy old firniture pieces cheap just for this purpose of restoration. Its funny to think that old furniture hardware and materials are in demand for this purpose. People pay a premium to get the right piece to go with the period in history and design. 

If you had this professionally restored to authentic period I could see it going for $1200 - $1500 US in the right market at the right time. As you will notice British piecies of the time had more work, drawers and hardware, thus the difference in values.

As I have not had  a lot of experience in furniture. I have enjoyed this unique piece and the chance to valuate it. Please reply and leave me your feedback on my valuation. Its appreciated.

Thanks for sharing ...

Tommy Gordyn Certified Appraisal Professional - AIOA

Canada / US / UK


Proud Gold Member of The American Numismatic Association

Thomas Gordyn's picture

Your drawer may have been repaired with Douglas Fir .. thus the Stamp ...  Ft Vancouver was in the Northern Part of Washington State mid 1800's. Plywood was introduced into the United States in 1865 and became more indutrialized in use approx 5 yrs later. Douglas Fir is a softwood which would make it non conforming to this piece. Especially to use in a drawer. I believe first off that this drawer was repaired after the initial piece was made.

Could you please add more pictures of joints, any nail heads and other things you feel may have been replaced.

It is a nice piece and I would be happy to investigate it further if you could supply the additional information I mentioned.

Thanks for sharing ..

Kindest Regards ..

Thomas J. Gordyn

Certified Professional Appraiser - AIOA

Proud Member of The American Numismatic Association

Bliss's picture

thank you very much for your assessment. my wife actually guessed it was Victorian gothic just from searching the net for similar pieces. we have a restoration guy local to us that does on site quotes so he will be our next call. again thank you for everything this was very helpful. 

Thomas Gordyn's picture

Thanks kindly for your feedback on my valuation. It is a lovely piece of American history of which it has suffered from the tolls of time. I would love to hear what the quote would be to restore this piece. Its important the person use period wood and hardware. Its great your interested in preserving this wonderful piece and that your wife knew what she was looking at.  Have a great day ... 

Kindest Regards ..

Thomas J. Gordyn

Certified Professional Appraiser - AIOA

Proud Member of The American Numismatic Association

Search Appraisals