Top desk dating
Cylinder desks were popular in France for at least the following century. 1776 French cylinder desk is on display at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. 70-71) indicates that tambour, or roll-top, writing tables with drawers and pigeonholes existed in England by 1788, but these were much smaller than the roll-top desks that were popular in the U. Abner Cutler filed the application for this patent in 1880. 98, states that Smith & Co., Boston, MA, exhibited a "Roll-Top Desk." The Literary World, Oct. 370, states that "...a publishing house does not necessarily consist in frescoed ceilings, black walnut counters, roll-top desks, and Brussels carpets." The earliest advertisement we have found for a roll-top desk was published in 1884; we have found 1884 advertisements for roll-top desks made by numerous companies.
The earliest illustration we have seen of an office with a roll-top desk dates from 1887.
Look closely for irregular saw cuts or a rough appearance, indicating the desk was likely one of first roll-top desks and built prior to 1890.
A precise and identical machine joint reveals a mass-produced desk, probably constructed a few years before to around the turn of the 19th century and later.
You may want to seek advice from an expert carpenter or cabinet-maker to identify the wood, especially if it has been stained or varnished to modify the color.
A number of these styles have been revived over and over, and still inspire reproductions in their likeness. These include slant-fronts like the escritoire and fall-fronts like the butler's desk, among a number of others.
Many different types of desks have developed over the centuries, and many of them don't resemble modern home and office desks much at all.
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