Although this looks like a chest or dresser, the top drawer opens to a "butler's" desk, set at stool or standing height. Hand crafted of solid walnut with panels of contrasting curly "birdseye" maple about 1820, this secretary desk is from the Sheraton period. Inside are tiny drawers and compartments for papers.
In a large estate, the butler managed the household, paid bills and hired and fired the staff, but could not sit down to work, those desks were for the owner's family only. It was thought that standing for paperwork kept one from falling asleep on the job.
The restored finish is in excellent condition, preserving just enough mars and shrinkage separations from age for a little antique character.
The desk drawer front has a warp from age, so only the left brass finger latch catches. Drawers have chamfered bottoms and tiny hand cut dovetail joints. Lower drawers have matched burl fronts.
Size is 43" wide, 23" deep and 47" tall, the desktop is 33" high.
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