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Paymasters Desk Mid-19th Century Original Red Paint


Sale price $225.50 Regular price $350.50


**~Available for pick~up from Central Pennsylvania. Thank you! **~

 This beautiful mid-19th century, slant top paymasters desk found in Massachusetts boasts an original surface and is a primitive beauty! The surface lends inconsistent areas of “alligator crazing”, light and dark hues along with highlights of red paint that determine whispers of a washed look. Underneath the lid as referenced in image 19 gives us insight as to the appearance of the original color. The front of this piece does show areas of an off white surface that gently mixes into the painted counterpart as shown in images 1, 2, 3, & 25 and is a mystery to why this occurred. One explanation may be that the front came in contact with something that determined the outcome. A small portion of the lid area was also affected as shown.

This piece was constructed using tiny nails as referenced in image 6 and was fashioned from pine. The mitered corners show a tight fit even after all these years while image 9 reflects a hairline crack next to the mitered area. A thin, secondary piece of wood that runs the length of the desk on the lid in the front location (image 4), has experienced slight wood loss while ending its journey near the corner as referenced in image 10.

There are a couple circles present; one located on the top lid (bottom left corner) as well as on the top ledge near the scalloped back as referenced in the first, 6th and 10th image. Some scuff marks (image 6 referenced by the arrow) and minor wood losses are sprinkled throughout. The largest chip is located on the right hand side near the corner as shown in image 4 referenced by the arrow. Image 5 reflects a scattering of light paint located on the left hand side on the top galley area, trim and just below.

The “lift up” lid does not sit perfectly flush near the front but rather tends to lean slightly upward toward the left as a small gap is present as shown in image 5. The scalloped detail element on the upper back area is a nice feature lending decorative importance to the form. The inside reveals five pigeon holes where small collections can take up residence. There are several stains present that mimic water marks as shown in images 22 & 23. However the back cannot justify this theory as there an no indications of water related staining. The inside also reveals a small piece of wood laying against the side of the desk and when pulled forward was used to hold up the top leaving an opening in the front as shown. The top of the wood has a jagged, rough edge which may suggest that a portion of this wood may be missing. If this is the case the lid may have been elevated in a higher position.

Simple butt hinges were used to accommodate the top to be lifted at will as referenced in image 24. This same picture shows a small area that is lighter in color and may have been the culprit of a label placed there at one point that is now non-existent. The bottom exhibits a three board construction with appropriate age separation and the surface indicates dark areas at random as well as scuff marks, light scratches along with minor wood loss and tiny holes located throughout. There is evident nail bleed as shown. A small hole is located on the back near the front as referenced in image 33. Image 21 reflects a rough spot under the lid over to the right near the hinge location.

This desk has wonderful form, style and a great surface. The top shelf area just below the galley is flat and can hold an inkwell, small books, a candle holder and possibly a horn beaker filled with turkey feathers if you please!

If you are like me I like to create realistic vignettes using antiques according to what purpose they served by incorporating appropriate accessories that create a theme. This desk can be your artist palette so to speak as you can certainly get creative accessorizing this piece of furniture with objects of your choice! Enjoy!

Desk measures 30 ½” across (right to left), measures 28” front to back, measures 14 ¼” tall in the back and has a graduated slope toward the front measuring 8 ½” tall. Cubby holes measure 4 ¼” by 4” and the center measures 9 ½” across.

~Freight (Standard Mail) included, however Insurance is optional and can be purchased @ checkout ~ within the continental U.S.

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