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    Salesman's Sample Rolltop Desk, ca. 1890

    Appraised Value:

    $4,000 - $6,000

    Appraised on: July 23, 2011

    Appraised in: Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Appraised by: Noel Barrett

    Category: Toys & Games

    Episode Info: Tulsa, Hour 1 (#1601)

    Originally Aired: January 2, 2012

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Desk, Model
    Material: Wood
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $4,000 - $6,000

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    Appraisal Video: (2:01)


    Appraised By:

    Noel Barrett
    Toys & Games
    Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: My great-great- great-grandfather's. It came from western New York.

    APPRAISER: Whereabouts?

    GUEST: Chautauqua Lake, Jamestown, New York. Back in those days, they were into the woodworking business and that was how they made their living, or their way. And these were samples that they took door-to-door, selling them to individuals, and then they would go back and make them.

    APPRAISER: Jamestown, New York, was a major center for furniture manufacturing in the late 19th century.

    GUEST: Yes, sir, absolutely.

    APPRAISER: It's a wonderful miniature, or salesman's sample, rolltop desk. And it is in its original carrying case, which is one of the real bonus features for any salesman's sample. The rolltop desk is an iconic piece of American furniture from the late 19th century, and it was really a mechanical marvel. The heyday of rolltop desks was in the 1890s, and they were made into the '20s and '30s. But this definitely dates from that 1890 period. The roll itself is a tambour of wood, wood slats on canvas. It actually goes back in and disappears. That's a typical rolltop style. A lot of times there would be little drawers here also. What really makes this desk a little unusual is it has this feature here, which is an opening file system that actually slides back into the desk to disappear. All the drawers open, so you can see exactly how it all works. It has a couple of condition issues, but I would put an auction estimate, which I think would be conservative, of $4,000 to $6,000.

    GUEST: My goodness. That's awesome.

    APPRAISER: Yep, it's wonderful.

    GUEST: But I like the piece.

    APPRAISER: Oh, good.

    GUEST: So it probably won't be for sale.

    APPRAISER: Okie doke.

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