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Anyone have any idea what era this desk is and bonus points for the type of wood

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Forum topic by whatsthiswood posted 09-15-2018 02:39 AM 2146 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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whatsthiswood

2 posts in 89 days


09-15-2018 02:39 AM


14 replies so far

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Tony_S

955 posts in 3283 days


#1 posted 09-15-2018 10:37 AM

Era?.....Old
Wood?.....Unmistakably Wenge.

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

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ppg677

209 posts in 1056 days


#2 posted 09-15-2018 11:17 AM

Wenge wood

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Peteybadboy

519 posts in 2149 days


#3 posted 09-15-2018 11:41 AM

Chestnut

-- Petey

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tomsteve

875 posts in 1419 days


#4 posted 09-18-2018 10:22 AM

that woukd be crazy if thats constructed with wenge.
its not extremely old- theres planer /jointer marks on one piece in the 4th pic. are fasteners flathead or phillips?

try some cleaner on a hidden spot. maybe even sand an area and get us some pics of that.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

15694 posts in 2818 days


#5 posted 09-18-2018 11:07 AM

Drawer construction; how’s front attached to sides? Back to sides? Bottom rides in dado and nailed, are nails round or square? Research ‘Lever’ lockset.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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lumbering_on

574 posts in 690 days


#6 posted 09-18-2018 11:57 AM

My grandfather was an auctioneer, and we had a desk that looked similar to this he picked up from one of his estate sales. The style is maybe 100 years old, but it’s hard to say if the desk is actually that old. In fact, the drawer looks like it was aged using tea or some similar technique to make it look older.

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Bill White

5124 posts in 4160 days


#7 posted 09-18-2018 12:33 PM

Also, notice the “modern” table top clips.

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Aj2

1873 posts in 1998 days


#8 posted 09-18-2018 01:43 PM

New table made to look old. The giveaway to me is the handle lock set area. There’s no scratches from finger nails or grime. Probably made in India

-- Aj

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Nubsnstubs

1422 posts in 1930 days


#9 posted 09-18-2018 02:52 PM

I don’t have a clue to the wood, but some have observations on what to look for in antiques, especially those with drawers. Look at the bottom of the drawer sides. Also, if the top of the drawer back is as high as the sides and clean with no visible signs of wear, it’s a reproduction.

I saw that in an antique store in Louisiana, and was disappointed they were trying to pass off a bunch of reproductions as antiques. You could still see the saw marks from a 90 tooth negative rake melamine blade, which leaves a very clean cut. just kidding about the blade, but saw marks were very pronounced.


Also, notice the “modern” table top clips.

- Bill White

Is there some secret that you are using to enlarge these pictures to be able to see things like the table top clips? The pictures I’m seeing aren’t light enough nor big enough. It’s the same with Aj2’s comment. I did notice the keyhole should show some kind of rounding over from years of use, but the hole edges look pretty sharp with no abuse from key insertion. ......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Kazooman

1237 posts in 2152 days


#10 posted 09-18-2018 03:38 PM


Also, notice the “modern” table top clips.

- Bill White

Is there some secret that you are using to enlarge these pictures to be able to see things like the table top clips? The pictures I m seeing aren t light enough nor big enough. It s the same with Aj2 s comment. I did notice the keyhole should show some kind of rounding over from years of use, but the hole edges look pretty sharp with no abuse from key insertion. ......... Jerry (in Tucson)

- Nubsnstubs

I also see some sort of clips in the fourth picture. Holding the top on and riding in a groove in the apron. No clue as to how that affects the date of the piece.

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Aj2

1873 posts in 1998 days


#11 posted 09-18-2018 03:50 PM

If it was made off shores the wood could be anything, most common I’ve seen is rubber wood they are also very cleaver making things look old or worn.
But they don’t get up early enough to pull the wool over on Lumber Jocks. ::)

-- Aj

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Rich

3880 posts in 789 days


#12 posted 09-18-2018 04:07 PM

Speaking of forgeries, there was a very interesting article about the leading authority on 18th century French antiques get busted creating fakes. These fakes were so accurate that they were bought not only by unsuspecting collectors, but museums as well. They did carry the approval of the leading expert after all.

The part about licorice in this paragraph is particularly funny. The lengths they go to to create fakes and the tricks to identify them:

“It was Hooreman who realized the chairs were new constructions, initially because he recognized in them the handiwork of Pallot’s gilder and carver. ‘I often use the same people on restorations, and I’m intimate with their strengths and weaknesses,’ Hooreman says. He knew that one of them, for example, was fond of painting a coat of melted-down licorice on the surface of reproductions, to make new wood look old and dirty. In 2012, Hooreman saw a pair of ployants—folding benches—that were for sale in the Aaron gallery showroom and were billed as the onetime property of Princess Louise Élisabeth, the eldest daughter of King Louis XV, and acted on a hunch. ‘I licked the chair and voilà,’ he says. ‘I could taste the fraud.’”

https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/07/how-a-sneaky-furniture-expert-tricked-versailles

In another case, my wife and I were selling a very expensive Sheldon Parsons painting to a dealer in Taos, NM. Part of the provenance of the painting was that it had hung for several decades in the Bank of Santa Fe earlier in the century. I was surprised when the dealer wet his finger and touched a hidden area on the painting and then licked it. He said the bitter taste from years of heavy tobacco smoke was one clue that it was authentic.

So, smell and taste your table. Who knows what clues you might uncover.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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the_other_ken

38 posts in 3175 days


#13 posted 09-18-2018 04:10 PM

Looks like the same vintage as that of my school teachers desk from the 60’s. And they were probably post WWII era. Still being dumped by the gov’t surplus sales in the late 90’s. Cheap steel and laminate desks replaced those.

My guess on the wood (based the desk theory)....white oak restained with a minwax walnut.

And those clip could have been made at anytime. Norm made them every time he built a table.

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Aj2

1873 posts in 1998 days


#14 posted 09-18-2018 05:01 PM

If that was made for a school it was never used. The top shows no signs of kids
And how is it that the key for the locks is still with the table.

Nice article Rich very interesting

-- Aj

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