Desk from 1700s has fitted interior


May 29, 1994|By Anne McCollam | Anne McCollam,Copley News Service

Q: Enclosed is a picture of a very old desk that I have. Inside there is a secret compartment that pulls out.

I think it is handmade because the board on the back of the desk has marks on it that appear to be made from a hand tool. It has been in our family for more than 200 years.

What can you tell me about my desk and its worth?

A: This is an example of a Queen Anne slant-front bureau desk made in the mid-18th century.

The fitted interior with compartments, willow brasses, matching keyhole escutcheons, four graduated drawers and bracket feet are some characteristics of this period.

Desks of this type were usually made of walnut, maple, cherry or birch. Prices usually range from about $5000 to $10,000 depending on the condition and region.

Q: I have a purple slag glass compote. The height is approximately 4 inches.

According to the English Registry mark on the bottom, the piece was registered Feb. 13, 1877.

What was it used for and what is it worth?

A: Slag glass or marble glass was produced in the United States and England. Slag glass made in England was marked with the British Registry. The color was variegated and resembled a marble cake. There was a variety of combinations of color.

Purple, chocolate and blue were the most widely produced. Your compote could have been used for jelly. The value would probably be about $65 to $75.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.