I… can’t find any writing desk that folds up like this one.


Question: Dear Mr. Tuten,  I saw your article in The Best Times and thought I would drop you an email in hopes of finally finding out just what this desk is (see attached).
It has been in my family forever or at least as long as I remember (which was forever ago!)

I have researched on line but can’t find any writing desk that folds up like this one.  If you could give me some idea of date and style that would be most appreciated and if not I totally understand.”

Thanks for writing about your desk. As you know it’s mahogany and Hepplewhite in design. Hepplewhite style often overlaps with that of British designer Thomas Sheraton, whose 1791 guidebook, like Hepplewhite’s, documented popular furniture designs of the day. However, the slightly older Hepplewhite style tends to be more ornate, with substantial carving and curvilinear shapes in comparison to Sheratons style. Often embellished with small carvings and inlaid patters and veneers with woods of contrasting colors. Decorative motifs include swags, ribbons, feather, urns and trees. Considered “city furniture,” Hepplewhite was especially popular in early American states along the Eastern Seaboard, from New England to the Carolinas. Your desk would not have been used in a commercial establishment, but rather in an “uptown home”. Hepplewhite legs in contrast to the popular cabriole legs of earlier styles, such as Queen Ann Hepplewhite pieces usually have straight legs. These can be square or tapered, and often have reeded or fluted edges in imitation of Classical columns. The desks uniqueness is that it opens differently and is probably the result of a cabinet maker’s artistic talent. He wanted to display his design talent, his creativity in addition to his cabinet making ability. What really helps with the date of your desk is the handmade screws before 1830. Secondary wood appears to be poplar which makes this desk US Eastern Seaboard most likely Philadelphia, Pa (1770-1810) Fair Market Value $750.00-1,200.00.


I have also received a request for information about these champagne flutes. Let me tell you one thing about antique appraisal. No appraiser knows everything, and if he/she tells you they do run away from them as fast as you can. I first looked at these and said to myself. Oh, that’s easy Cambridge, and then I looked again. They could not be Cambridge BECAUSE that’s a male figure and not female! So, I began my search, I even went to the ladies home and saw the flutes and then it dawned on me they are French crystal made by Bayel in the pattern of Bacchante

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