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Robert S.
Robert S., Antiques and Collectibles Researcher
Category: Antiques
Satisfied Customers: 4821
Experience:  Expert in decorative arts especially ceramics, silver, paintings, and furniture.
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How about the secretaire? S. Only please.

Customer Question

How about the secretaire?For Robert S. Only please.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Antiques
Expert:  Robert S. replied 4 months ago.

Hi Carlos,

Just letting you know I got this one.

Could you do me one favor and add another photo of the dovetailing in one of the lower drawers. It helps a great deal with dating a piece like this.

Many thanks!

Robert

Expert:  Robert S. replied 4 months ago.

Good morning Carlos,

This style of writing desk is French and known as a secrétaire à abattant ('abattant' meaning drop-front) which first became popular in the late 1700s. Yours is a little later, judging by the shape of the cornice molding and other features such as the barley-twist columns in the arcading in the fitted interior, it dates to the "Louis Philippe" or "Charles X" period, circa 1830s.

Judging by the wood of the exterior that looks like it might be cherry, it may be American made.

  • A fine Charles X period Secretaire a Abattant, second quarter 19th century, the ogee-molded cornice fitted with a frieze drawer over a case with bifold drop front,and inset leather writing surface, opening to an interior fitted with an arcaded platform, each arch supported by barley-twist carved columns, below a row of three drawers, over a row of six short drawers each drawer face embellished with molded cockbeading, above three drawers, the whole case raised on a shallow plinth supported by thin bracket feet.

At a well attended auction this piece would sell in the range of $1200 - $1800.

It therefore has a full retail/replacement/insurance value of $3600.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes,
Robert