The Charak Furniture Co. of Boston was a leading 20th-century furniture manufacturer of reproductions of traditional Colonial furniture. Charak thrived through the 1920s and unlike many American furniture manufacturers, survived the Depression of the 1930s. In the 1950s, the company hired Donald Deskey, a well-known American designer, to create a line of colorful, plastic-laminated modern furniture.
The company did quality reproductions but were not "purists" as was Wallace Nutting who built true copies within the same period. Can you tell me what your secretary looks like? Is it cherry, mahogany, or walnut?
Does it have drawers below a drop down desk with inner cubbyholes and a glassed in cabinet above with a split pediment top crest?
Mahogany mostly. Broken pediment with torch finials topping upper separate door front bookcase.
Lower desk block front w/ball and claw feet.
Is in all original and in very fine condition?
Desk has two "secret" drawers above cubbyholes.
I think that there is another secret drawer, but I have not found it.
That would be fun to know.
Ok, for insurance purposes your secretary has a retail value of approximately $5000. If you wish to sell it at auction or to a dealer, you would expect from 1/2 to 1/3 of that value in the current economic market.
Do you have any other questions about this before I leave you?
Location of secret drawers, please.
The only other place they put secret drawers was in the base where the skirt is actually a thin drawer. In the desk section, you want to press on any square or rectangular facings which could hide a tiny drawer behind it.
Even in the original pieces, it was unusual to have more than one in one piece of furniture.
It was a pleasure, I am glad you were able to get on Chat and add more information for me. Although several lines or (grades of quality) were made by this company, your secretary is definitely from the Colonial Revival highest grade of their furniture. The torche finials, the secret drawers, and the fine construction all identify the quality.
If you have any other question, reply and I will get back to you. My best, Randi
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