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Thursday, February 16, 2017

OLD STUFF

OLD STUFF

I love old stuff.  Old stuff is interesting, old stuff tells a story.  Sometimes you have to imagine the stories, but that is part of the fascination of old stuff.

I did not always love old stuff.  Growing up we had a lot of old stuff, and my grandparents had really old stuff.  I was jealous of my friend’s homes which had modern furniture and plush wall-to-wall carpeting. We had old furniture and hard wood floors partially covered with old rugs.
As I got older, I learned that some old stuff was called antiques, hard wood floors were nicer than plush wall-to-wall carpet and old rugs made in Persia were called Oriental carpets.  Now one of my favorite TV shows is the “Antiques Roadshow.”  I like seeing other family’s heirlooms and hearing the stories behind those heirlooms.
When my mom passed, her old stuff and some of my grandparent’s old stuff was divided among three brothers, and some of that has since been divided among the children of said brothers.  When I visit my children, my brother or my sister-in-law it is always fun and nostalgic to see some of the old stuff I grew up with. 
Of the items I inherited, my favorite is an old desk.  I’m not sure when it was made, probably Civil Warrish, or earlier.  The desk is solid, it has  ornate carving, it is interesting.  It is hard to imagine that it was built piece by piece by hand.  No power tools, just patience and skill.
Here is the desk.
It is large and substantial.  Behind the drop down cover are several drawers and cubby holes
With the top down.
The decorative columns pull out for secret hiding spaces.

Hidden compartments in the columns

The ornate door has my great-grand parent’s family crest carved into it.  Behind the door are two more drawers and cubby holes.
Drawers behind the ornate door.
The ornate column hiding places are fairly common in older furniture, but if you pull out the right-hand column completely, it allows the two drawers and cubbies to be pulled out and reveal a hiding place not so common.
Surprise behind the drawers
Three more drawers
I suppose the days before fancy hidden safes, convenient banks with checking and safe deposit boxes, and distrust for what banks were in town; people had to be creative.  Instead of safes and safety deposit boxes, it was furniture that hid valuables and important papers.

That is about all I know of this desk, but in my mind, I can make up plenty of stories about where this desk has been and what it’s secret places held.

17 comments:

  1. Love the desk! family furniture is fun!!

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  2. It is a cool looking desk! How neat with thinking of the potential history behind it aside from what you may already know about it. Neat too that it has stayed in the family all these years. Now the question is......where does it go after you?

    betty

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  3. I LOVE it! And I love the little secret places too. I remember reading about old desks with secret hiding places when I was a child, and I always wanted one. When I win the lottery I'll have one made, I don't care if I'm ninety by then.

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  4. I love your old desk! They just don't make things like that anymore, it's a real treasure. My grandmother's desk isn't as old, circa 1900, a delicate ladies desk that could use refinishing. My husband's is a drawer desk, in oak - used mostly as a catch-all, haha.

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  5. My grandma and grandpa had a desk that opened up like that. I loved the little drawers in the middle. I never thought to look for secret compartments! Now I want to go back in time and nose around in that desk!

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  6. I remember as a child hunting for the secret places and cheering when I found one. The item was a gorgeous bureau made by my grandfather. Wish I could remember what happened to it. My father followed the trade but by that time fashions had changed. How I wish they hadn't. I still have the desk and stool my father made and a flower stand designed like a bird bath. Oooh, shut me up. I could go on forever.

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  7. That is quite the treasure! The only old piece of furniture I have is my grandparent's dresser that I use as a buffet in our dining room. I also have my grandma's cedar chest.

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  8. I would kill (or at least maim) for that desk. The only thing I have of my grandmother's is a ring--which I NEVER take off!!

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  9. I didn't like old stuff when I was a kid either. I still don't today. Antiques are not my thing. I love all things modern. I do see how folks love the mysteries of days gone by though.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend, Joe. ☺

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  10. That is absolutely gorgeous. If I was prone to jealousy, THAT is what I would be jealous of. I've always loved old stuff, or, as my husband calls it "dead people's stuff".

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  11. That desk is fabulous. I also love old things although space is becoming an issue. I'd like to see a close-up of that crest.

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  12. We've got some good old stuff, fortunately Mom down-sized a few years before we cut off contact otherwise she would have trashed the lot of it. As is, I hear she trashed any heirlooms of value since the falling-out so that her ungrateful sons wouldn't get any of it.

    So sorry about the downer, but just maybe this has inspired me to consider posting about a couple of choice pieces. Some time. Soon. Ish.

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  13. That is an amazing desk! Love all the little hidey-places. . .

    We have a table that belonged to my grandparents, and I have some books that were my other grandfather's.

    But that desk is amazing!

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  14. What an amazing desk and how fortunate it found a home where it is appreciated. I love all the James Bond hideaways. Can't wait to visit an antiques store and start snooping.

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  15. It's beautiful, and i'm glad you cherish it so. A person i know was thrilled when his wife's antiques were ruined in the flood, he had no appreciation for them.

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  16. That is one awesome desk!

    I was fascinated with old books as a kid. One time I found a chest with a lot of old books in my parents attic. They were written in the old German Sütterlin script that even my mother couldn't read. I had to go to my grandparents for help to try and decode the letters and then learn to read the books. Oh how I wish I had kept those books!

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  17. Holy crap! That is an incredible piece.

    On another note: sorry I haven't commented in a while. It's been an interesting few weeks for me here.
    I'll do better.
    R

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