This week I scored a great deal on craigslist – a beautiful 1917 quarter-sawn oak roll-top desk.  There’s a tag/sticker on it that has July 11, 1917 as the factory date.

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It also says “Style No. 663-C” and “P. H. Rack” (see below).  I’m not sure if that’s the furniture maker or some other type of designation, but it is a beautiful piece nonetheless.

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The desk is massive, measuring 66” long by 36” deep and 43” tall at the back, and in great condition.  Sure, there are a few nicks and dings on it, but you have to expect that on a piece that is nearly 100 years old.

The grain has beautiful striations, called medullary rays or “flecks”, which are a characteristic of quarter-sawn oak, and a hallmark of the Arts & Crafts aesthetic.

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It also has some really cool (and perhaps original?) drawer labels on it that read “Accident Report Blanks” and “Personal”.

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On the underside of the center drawer there’s a cool little button that I’m assuming was some kind of alarm trigger.  There’s a wire connected to it, that runs down the inside but is then snipped as it reaches down to the floor.

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Special thanks to my neighbor Phil who, even though he was feeling a little under the weather, helped me carry it into the house.  Here are a few more pictures of it.

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The woman I bought it from didn’t offer much information about where she got it or where it may have originally come from.  So if you have a desk like this or similar, I’d be interested in hearing from you – leave a comment below or contact me directly.  I’d love to hear the story of your old desk and perhaps find out who the manufacturer was and where it was made.

DESK HISTORY UPDATE:  Many thanks to The Craftsman Bungalow fan “Chaz” for the clues he provided about the history of this desk.  Chaz mentioned a similar desk that belonged to his Grandfather that was made in New York by the Cutler Company.  He also suggested that the desk was more likely used at a factory of some kind due to the drawer labeled “Accident Report Blanks” – which makes a lot more sense than it being used in a bank.  I’ve asked Chaz to submit pictures of his desk, so hopefully we’ll have those soon!

 

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