English Chippendale Style Antique Miniature Desk, 19th Century


Item # 1401VQH26PZ

This is an absolutely stunning find for anyone passionate about antique miniatures. Measuring just 12 1/4" high, this precious little slant front desk was possibly crafted as a salesman's sample, allowing larger furniture items to be sold sight-unseen by viewing this miniaturized replica. The attention to detail is beyond meticulous - the construction of the facade is has a stronger affinity with New England work centers than of England, the drawer blades dovetailing vertically into the stiles on either side, the dividers between the lopers and the top drawer likewise open-dovetailing vertically into the drawer blades. The precision of the joints is above reproach; despite the tiny proportions and working area, there is not the slightest gap between the dovetail and surrounding wood in any joint. The drawers are also dovetail constructed, these graduating in size from largest on the top to smallest on the bottom, a superfluous detail that took more time and revealed a care for the small things in the craftsman. These are formed from solid golden oak sides and back, a solid mahogany facing and a thick golden oak bottom nail to the sides and back along the edges. We believe the brasses on each drawer are original, having closely examined the interior for oxidization variation on the wood and seeing no evidence of other hardware impressions on the drawer faces.

The fall front rests unevenly on the lopers, revealing a clean interior with six small over three large pigeon-holes for organizing papers (in a full size desk). The lopers are solid mahogany, the facings of each possibly replaced - the patina does not seem consistent between these and the rest of the desk, the molding also slightly mismatched between each and the whole not squarely covering the slot from which the lopers project. For a desk crafted with intense attention to detail, this is not something the craftsman would have missed. Each loper is solid mahogany with a tiny pine dowel fitted into a hole in the back to prevent it from being pulled out of the desk.

The back of the desk shows the light residual marks from hand planing, these boards clearly leveled by hand before being affixed to the case with tiny iron brads around the exterior - the brads are heavily oxidized and have an early 19th century appearance to them and though the desk could be as late as the middle of the nineteenth century, it probably is circa closer to the first quarter of the century. The whole form rests over wonderful bracket feet with a well shaped scroll cut apron.

This is an exceptional find - one that rarely makes it's way onto the open market.

Measurements: 13 1/16" wide x 6 7/16" deep x 12 1/4" high

Condition Report: Patch repair at left corner (next to loper); tiny drawer lip repairs; hinges are original, an old hairline crack in the mahogany beneath the hinge on one side; slant front does not lay flat on the lopers; sliding loper facings almost certainly replaced, being of a different tone and quality from the desk; very attractive waxed surface with typical dings, scratches and scars; finish is probably not original but quite early; the hardware on the drawers does not show any evidence of being replaced, though two rings are replaced (five rings are solid cast, two are pieced). Overall simply outstanding condition.

Item ID: 1401VQH26PZ

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$3,625 $2,900 USD SALE

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Silla Fine Antiques

Silla Fine Antiques, Shippensburg, PA   

Period American Furniture, French Furnishings, Fine Nineteenth Century Art and Sculpture

Ruby Lane Shop Rating
Silver Rating Silver
Member since 2013

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