Antique Roll Top Desks
When Abner Cutler first applied for his patent for the roll top desk, there is no way he could have known that he had just created an instant classic. Cutler, who owned the Cutler Desk Company, could not have guessed that his Buffalo firm had just produced a desk type that would still be in use in many homes and offices more than one and a half centuries later. After all, the idea of using a flexible tambour cover to completely enclose a desk top during periods of non-use was pretty revolutionary for its time.
That basic design, as we now know, has formed the foundation of every other type of roll top desk that has been made since 1850. These desks have been such instant classics that antique roll top desks now command prices that reach into the many thousands of dollars!
Antique Roll Top Desks – Still widely available
The beauty of these antique roll top desks is that there are so many of them around. You can even find early Cutler roll tops dating from the middle of the nineteenth century – the question is whether you can afford them after you find them. Some Cutlers have been known to sell for ten thousand dollars or more in an auction setting! Non-Cutler desks generally sell for a fraction of that, but are still far more expensive than purchasing your run of the mill modern desk.
Finding an Antique Roll Top Desk
There are thousands of these antique roll top desks out on the market, however. You just have to know where to look. For many collectors and people who long to have an antique desk in their homes, finding a roll top like this is as much a matter of being in the right place at the right time as it is hard work and research. Still, the internet can be an invaluable tool in locating antiques of any kind, and it can assist you in finding people who want to sell their old roll top desks as well.
Finding the Rare Gems
One thing to keep in mind when purchasing online, however, is that you will often encounter those who are simply trying to clear out what they perceive to be old furniture and junk – perhaps from a deceased elderly relative’s home. Many times, you might feel that the price they are asking for their antique roll top desks is so low that there must be something wrong with the unit. Take the time to check out its condition. It could very well be that the seller has not taken the time to discover what he or she is selling. In instances like that you can easily get your hands on antiques desks at a fraction of their actual auction value.
Another great place to find antique roll top desks is at an estate sale. Of course, not every elderly person in the world has a roll top tucked away in the parlor – but many do, and they are among the most overlooked items when it comes time to dissolve the estate. The fine china and hutches and jewelry are sure to be picked over by family members, but most view desks as just another large nuisance for their home.
If you can find one of these antique desks at an estate sale, chances are that you can pick it up for less than what you would pay for a new one. Don’t be discouraged if it looks like it needs a little work, because restoring the old desk is well worth the time and expense!