Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Secretary Part One

This is the secretary I keep talking about, relentlessly, non stop, so excited.

Upon researching this piece Ive learned basically, nothing, Circa late 1800s to early 1900s
& the style is
called a side by side. I do believe it is oak.

This antique secretary will be periodically featured on this blog, sorry you furniture lovers, it is getting upchic painted and a shabby upcycled. It has such severe surface and veneer damage it cannot be refinished without considerable cost and tremendous labor. It has also been high gloss lacquered and stripping it would take many hours and the use of toxic chemicals.

My husbands Grandmother previously owned this piece. She bought it an estate auction in possibly the 1950s along with 2 or 3 other pieces that included another side by side secretary and a china cabinet. She paid 10.00 for it.

Over the years, Grandma Gertie had mentioned this secretary and how she wasn't going to refinish it. Restoring the other pieces she had was such a chore and since this secretary had such damage to the veneer and missing escutcheons, she wasn't going to even "mess with it" and that it was a good candidate for a faux painted or sponge painted look.

So it sat, many years in her basement. Sometimes we'd talk about it, sometimes we'd go in the basement and visit it. Grandma always mentioned she was glad the original mirror & bowed glass door was intact even though several other parts were missing.

The sponge painting idea came from a 1985 better homes and gardens magazine article where this exact piece was faux painted and re~knobbed and featured with a full picture. Grandma saved the picture and I found it tucked away inside the desk part. It is the same piece, reworked, it's nice to have a picture for reference. By comparing my secretary to the magazine picture I noticed my piece is missing the center molding scroll that should be on the top. Sure enough you can see and feel where it was cut off probably due to damage over the years.

My goal is to up~chic this side by side antique secretary desk for 120.00 or less.

By using the keyword 'secretary' as a label for the secretary progression, you will be able to search this blog for all posts relevant to this post.


  1. Hey Lisa, the comments section is back here also, I love this secretary, Too cool, may look really good chic'd up too.Luv,Shar

  2. Estate sales are often the most effective way to maximize the value of your personal property.


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