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Antique Secretary Desks How to Buy
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A lot of people have requested that I review some secretary desks that are not antique, but look good. It's not like you can just select any antique secretary. The point of a secretary is practicality in a timeless sense. This means, they serve a purpose: writing desk plus look good and do not take up an entire room. They can fold up and hide everything you have been working on when company comes, etc.

For those that cannot afford the 1K+ for a genuine antique secretary desk, here are some streamline modern flair desks you can purchase on Amazon.com


1. Hand Carved Drop Front Secretary Desk - Pecan by Southern Enterprises Inc
Hand-Carved Drop-Front SecretaryHand-Carved Drop-Front SecretaryIn the age of pressboard and particle wood, it's rare to find solid wood furniture that's affordable for average incomes. But this is the real deal. I received the desk in a timely fashion, in excellent condition, with very easy assembly (just had to screw on the legs), and it looks just as gorgeous as the photo.

A couple things to note...the hand carved pulls are a bit shallow for my tastes, but they function fine. Also, the dividers in the drop down section are not part of the actual desk, but a separate part. In all, this is a great statement piece that's worth every penny in quality and functionality, with exceptional customer service to boot.
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2. Winsome Wood Secretary Desk, Walnut by Winsome Wood

Winsome Wood Secretary Desk, WalnutWinsome Wood Secretary Desk, WalnutNice solid wood, well-cut, relatively easy to assemble. One piece had a small chip in it, but that was easily fixed with some latex wood filler. The small bottle of glue shipped with the page was dry, however, so make sure you have some on hand (a little bit is needed for the drawer assembly). The drawer itself doesn't roll like most drawers, but rather just rests in a hole between the large cabinet and the desk surface. Color is a little less reddish in reality.
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3. Cherry Finish Secretary Writing Desk & Chair by The Furniture Cove

Cherry Finish Secretary Writing Desk & ChairCherry Finish Secretary Writing Desk & ChairI'm personally very happy with this desk. Everything arrived before the expected delivery date and was relatively easy to assemble. I think the desk is very attractive but I will warn buyers that it does look a tiny bit redder than you see in the picture. To me the color and the shine on the finish just makes the desk stand out more but it remains very elegant. I'll also point out that only one of the three drawers shown in the picture is actually functional (the middle one of course).
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4. Winsome Wood Secretary Desk, Honey by Winsome Wood
Winsome Wood Secretary Desk, HoneyWinsome Wood Secretary Desk, HoneyWhile no one looks forward to the end of the month with all its bill-paying headaches, Winsome Wood's Secretary desk adds a bit of a silver lining by making it a more efficient and organized experience. This compact piece offers plenty of work and storage space with a flip-out tabletop, an interior top shelf, a wide drawer, and a lower closed cabinet with an adjustable shelf. When all of the doors are shut, the solid beechwood secretary has a clean, streamlined look with a warm Honey finish and a simple inset panel for decoration. Open, it's a place to make short work of those administrative or accounting duties. The desk measures 19 inches wide by 12 inches deep by 39 inches high. Some assembly is required.
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5. Classic Walnut Finish Secretary Desk by Winsome Wood
Winsome Wood Secretary Desk, WalnutWinsome Wood Secretary Desk, WalnutThis classic Secretary Desk features a drop down cabinet that creates a flat writing surface and as well as ample space for supplies. When it folds up, the sleek Walnut-Finished desk remains an elegant piece of furniture while conserving space. A drawer and large cabinet provide plenty of additional storage space. Matching coffee table, end table and side table are sold separately.
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6. Secretary Desk In Maple Finish by Prepac
Secretary DeskSecretary DeskThe secretary desk is a perfect multi-purpose, space saving and fashionable addition to your home. It features a fold-down writing surface with internal adjustable shelves as well as three large drawers for storing stationary, mail and phone books. Great for a small office, guest bedroom or as a feature piece in an entranceway or front hall. Features include a profiled top, side moldings and an arched kick plate, as well as solid brushed nickel knobs and drawers that run on smooth, all-metal roller glides with built-in safety stops. Ships ready for easy assembly.
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7. Queen Anne Style Cherry Finish Secretary Writing Desk
Queen Anne Style Cherry Finish Secretary Writing DeskQueen Anne Style Cherry Finish Secretary Writing DeskThis looks like an extremely expensive piece of furniture but it's not. It's high-quality, sturdy, attractive, and doesn't break the bank.
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Hope you enjoy these picks!


Category: How to Buy

Antique Secretary Desk Buyers: I decided to post these images because they are great examples of the types of images you should look for when buying antiques online. First, you need clear shots of every single angle. Second, you need a birds-eve-view-type shot that also includes other items to give an approximate total size of the antique through the perspective of other items. Third, you need extreme close-ups of any badges or seals that may explain how old the piece is and who the maker/manufacturer is.


Sotheby auctions antiques that command very high prices. This past week was no exception. An Andy Warhol work sold by designer Tom Ford has fetched more than $32 million at auction.


This portrait, detailed below, measures 108 inches squared (that's 3 yards)! And according to Sotheby, Andy preferred this version. So if you want to learn more about this painting, check this post out: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-06-18/warhol-sells-for-32-million-at-art-basel-s-bull-run

Billionaire money manager Steven A. Cohen just missed a chance to buy a 1950s abstract blue painting by postwar minimalist Ad Reinhardt at the David Zwirner Gallery's booth at Art Basel.

"He came a minute too late," said David Zwirner, the gallery's owner who sold the work within the first hour of the preview of the world's largest modern- and contemporary-art fair in the Swiss city. Zwirner declined to disclose the price, saying only it was bought by a European collector for more than a nearby Jeff Koons sculpture that sold for $5 million.

Cohen, billionaire activist investor Daniel Loeb and money manager David Ganek were among the throngs of international collectors who yesterday stormed the main art fair as VIPs got first dibs on works by modern masters and contemporary stars. The most expensive artwork sold yesterday at the fair was an Andy Warhol self-portrait for $32 million, bought in the first 15 minutes.

"It was like the running of the bulls," Angela Westwater, co-owner of Sperone Westwater gallery in New York, said about the first 30 minutes of the fair.

Warhol's Wig

Cohen, who runs Point72 Asset Management LP, his family office and successor to his hedge-fund firm SAC Capital Advisors LP, singled out the Reinhardt when asked what had caught his eye at the fair.

"It's just beautiful," he said about the 1951-53 vertical, more than 6-foot-tall canvas, depicting a grid of rectangular shapes in subtle shades of blue. Reinhardt's auction record is $2.7 million for a square red painting made in 1953.

Warhol's 1986 self-portrait in a spiky wig, which was priced at $32 million at Skarstedt Gallery, sold to American collectors.

"We gave them 15 minutes to decide," said Per Skarstedt, the owner of the New York and London-based gallery. "This is the closest you come to an auction house as a dealer."

The world's leading galleries at the Messe Basel exhibition center are among 285 exhibitorsfrom 34 countries, offering as much as $4 billion worth of art, according to an estimate by insurer AXA Art. Attendance is expected to reach 86,000 by the time the fair ends on June 22, organizers said.

Multiple Pieces

Sales were brisk throughout the fair. On the ground floor, dominated by major blue-chip galleries, multiple pieces sold for $1 million to $5 million, dealers said. Zwirner, who has branches in New York and London, sold a $5 million sculpture of an inflatable dolphin by Koons and a pair of stacked wax heads by Bruce Nauman for $3.2 million.

Skarstedt gallery found buyers for a large 1982 painting by Georg Baselitz, "Edward in front of the mirror (Munch)," priced at $3 million, and Richard Prince's 1987 painting, "You No Tell -- I No Tell," offered at $2.2 million.

Hauser & Wirth, which operates multiple spaces in New York, London and Zurich, sold a white and blue totem sculpture by Louise Bourgeois for $1.95 million and Paul McCarthy's messy figurative painting "WS, Dior" for $950,000.

Some galleries paired older works with recently created art. Zurich-based Thomas Ammann Fine Art displayed a 1963 blue canvas by Pablo Picasso, priced at $12 million, and a $14 million Fernand Leger 1919 painting, next to new paintings by Bruce High Quality Foundation, a New York collective whose members are anonymous. Priced from $50,000 to $200,000, they riffed on popular culture and art history with paintings depicting celebrity magazine covers and a black-and-white version of Edouard Manet's "Olympia" framed by white neon lights.

Staying Relevant

"It's about staying relevant," Lisa Dennison, Sotheby's chairman of North and South America, said about the striking pairing at the booth. "Galleries have to think about the future and the next generation of artists" as modern art supplies diminish.

Michael Werner gallery, with branches in New York, London and Berlin, sold a 1971 Sigmar Polke painting for $4.5 million. Once owned by advertising mogul and collector Charles Saatchi, the work depicts purple monkeys, an alligator and an erect penis.

Contemporary-art galleries, which occupied the second floor of the convention center, did booming business with lower prices.

An abstract painting by Jeff Elrod sold for $95,000 at Simon Lee Gallery, based in London and New York. Sherrie Levine's cast-bronze sculpture of an alligator's head went for $300,000.

Cloud Paintings

A Miro-like abstraction by young Brazilian-born artist Christian Rosa sold for 25,000 euros ($33,870) at Berlin's Contemporary Fine Arts gallery.

"I could have sold it 20 times," said Bruno Brunnet, a partner at the gallery where a sold-out exhibition by Rosa ended last week.

A massive black painting by Glenn Ligon sold for $700,000 to a private collector, according to London-based Thomas Dane gallery.

Most of the works at Zurich-based Galerie Eva Presenhuber were spoken for by late yesterday afternoon. Ugo Rondinone's three new cloud-shaped paintings sold for 180,000 Swiss francs ($200,200) each. Joe Bradley's sprawling painting consisting of several white canvases and one pink canvas, sold for $300,000.

The ranks of collectors from traditional markets, including Europe and the U.S., swelled as buyers from China, Russia and the Middle East flocked to Art Basel, dealers and organizers said.

Why Not?

Collectors from Kazakhstan bought a Murano-glass sculpture resembling an outsized necklace by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel priced at 290,000 euros on the booth of Paris- and New York-based Galerie Perrotin.

"It's crazy but why not?" said Othoniel, who attended the fair along with dozens of other artists. "There are new collectors all over the world."

In the evening, business gave way to parties. Though less numerous and flashy than during Art Basel Miami Beach, the events offered plenty of classy and raucous entertainment.

Dallas-based collector Howard Rachofsky and artists Sterling Ruby and John Bock were among dozens of guests who celebrated Art Basel's "Unlimited" section of oversized sculptures and installations at a mansion surrounded by Baroque gardens 20 minutes outside of Basel.

Razors, Nails

Billionaire jeweler Laurence Graff and Russian collector Maria Baibakova were guests at art dealer Dominique Levy's dinner honoring German artist Gunther Uecker, whose suite of eight white paintings at her booth sold for more than 5 million euros to a European foundation. To celebrate the radical performance element of the works, which were painted with the artist's bare hands and feet and studded with razors and nails, circus performers including a sword swallower, a human cannon and two burlesque acrobats entertained diners.

Emmanuel Perrotin hosted a dinner for more than 100 guests on a moored barge after selling works ranging from $5,000 to $850,000 at the fair. It culminated with a live concert by French pop band, Naive New Beaters, who wore fur hats and used a palm tree as a stage prop.

"If you don't do well during Art Basel, you might as well close your gallery," said Perrotin as he headed for the dance floor.


Category: How to Buy

If you want to sell or purchase your antiques in this challenging economy, I advise you to watch this video. It really changes what people will buy or what they will not buy and how much they are willing to spend. In addition, struggling economies also affects directly antique trends -- what is hot and what's not.

Right now people are going more for the comfortable look. They are looking for investment reasons. It's also a buyers market, so in this economy you should consider to make substantials buys if you have the money.

With the price of gold and silver increasing, you may not find a buyers market but it is still good to be on the lookout because many people are unloading their gold and silver.


Secretary desks represent some of the most valuable pieces of antiques in the world. A Nicholas Brown antique secretary made around 1760 sold at a Christine’s auction for over 12-million dollars. It remains the highest price ever paid for a piece of American furniture. They are universally coveted by writers. Their demand remains high. Fortunately, there are many antique secretary desks for sale that make an impression, maintain their value and can be purchased and shipped for a reasonable price.

Antique secretary desks hold dear to many. Since the 1700s, they have started appearing in many different styles and made of countless different materials. In 1750, legendary furniture designer Thomas Chippendale created some of the most remarkable styles ever seen, heavily influenced from the Gothic style.

Some of the attributes of Antique Secretary and Writing Desks Include:

  • Drawers, bookshelves and a smaller writing area.
  • Flip down writing surface to ensure privacy and protection of all materials.
  • Hidden drawers are often a feature.


With any antique there are going to be various valuations. These valuations change because of the purpose of the valuations are different. For example, the insurance value of antique secretary desks are going to be the highest because it is the absolute price needed for full replacement.

Fair market value is often lower than the insurance value because it is the price people will pay for the secretary desk. As you can deduct, this price may be lower or higher depending market area you target. A person cannot expect the same price in a small town as a thriving metropolis. You can get an estimate for this price by searching eBay.

Estate or tax value is determined by averaging the prices similar products have recently been sold at auctions. It is a very good idea for tax purposes to document how you arrived at this price by contacting reputable auction houses for or local auction houses. If you have an especially rare antique secretary desk, you should only consult a reputable auction house as a local auction house may not have the adequate resources to correctly value you antique.

Retail price is simply the price at an antique shop. Call around.

Wholesale value is what an antique dealer would pay and it is 1/3 to ½ less than what a dealer would sell the piece for.

Therefore, in order to get a quick price or valuation of your piece, you first need to determine what value is appropriate for you needs. Once you determined the value you need, you’ll need to consult specific resources for a quick estimate.


There are certain essential that you must do when you begin to sell one of your antique secretary desk (or for any antique).

These include doing touch ups, removing scrtches and making the piece look better.

Antique dealers do this all the time.They use touch up markers, scratch cover, cotton rags, etc.

There are five specific things you can do that antique dealers do to make your antique desk more valuable. Watch this video to find out.



Antique Secretary Desks have been made in countless styles using a wide variety of materials.

Traditional style secretary desks are comforting and classic. Everything flows and there are no surprises. They are not ostentatious and can match with almost any other style in a home. They are more casual than other styles. They are more classic than modern.

Victorian style antiques are named after Queen Victoria. Some of the more popular styles conceived in this area include the arts and crafts movement as well as the Renaissance and Romanesque Revivals. You can easily identify Victorian secretary desks by their pointy-topped pieces. Often Victorian era desks are ornamented with Renaissance-style furnishings. Many of the writing desks in this era are carved from mahogany or oak. Some even use marble tops.

Chippendale style secretary desks usually have a ball-like carving for the foot. However, they can fall into three separate types: French influence, Chinese influence and Gothic influence. In the United States the style is characterized by cabriole legs, ball-and-claw foot and broken pediment scroll top on tall pieces. Regardless of the style, all Chippendale secretary desks are usually larger than other styles, but remain very graceful and refined.

The French style may be divided into various phases, but all have similar characteristics: They were ornate, elaborate and costly. Many of the secretary desks have curved lines with gold plated finishings. Among the principle woods used for writing desks in this era were ebony, walnut, and oak.

The most pronounced feature of the empire style is the principle of symmetry. In short, everything had to be in perfect balance. Many people like this period because it brings balance to a room and balances out any dichotomies.


In the grand scheme of things: few people get rich on Antique Roadshow. In fact, producers have revealed that most items are only worth $100.  However, that doesn't stop anyone from constantly trying. And every so often there is a tremendous find.


Every one of these 11 most expensive items found on Antiques Roadshow has an amazing backstory to it. In part, this is why they are so expensive. Plenty of people own a 19th century Navajo blanket. However, how many of them can say that their blanket was once own by famous Kit Carson? How about an Anthony van Dyck portrait bought in an antique in Cheshire for £400 ($625) and valued at the auction at £400,000 ($625,000)? These kind of tidbits are what adds spice to the Antiques Roadshow and drives the items' price through the roof.

Although the show has been aired in seven countries, 11 most expensive items found on Antiques Roadshow are all from UK and US shows. These other shows did have few memorable finds that deserve an honorable mention. Canadian Antiques Roadshow most pricey item was Henry Nelson O'Neil's painting called "Eastward Ho!" and appraised at half a million Canadian dollars. That’s $258,000 in real money. The name of the Dutch version of the show is Between Art & Kitsch and has been on the air since 1984. Their most valuable find is a Joost van Geel Het painting, valued at €250,000 ($280,000).


Here is the current top eleven list of the most expensive items to ever appear on the show 'Antique Roadshow.' These 'national treasures' are in the hands of some very lucky people.


11th Place:


Navajo Ute First Phase blanket – Antiques Roadshow US 2004
Appraisal: $350,000 – $500,000
Location: Tucson, Arizona

Eleventh place is a Navajo Ute First Phase blanket. This hand-woven Navajo Ute First Phase wearing blanket is a representation of the very beginnings of Navajo textile creation. This national treasure sat on the back of a chair for generations.

10th Place:


Norman Rockwell painting – Antiques Roadshow US 2012
Appraisal: $500,000
Location: Eugene, Oregon

"The Little Model" oil painting was given to the owner's great-grandmother, who was Rockwell's aunt.

9th Place:



Clyfford Still painting  – Antiques Roadshow US 2009
Appraisal: $500,000
Location: Palms Spring, California,
This 1937 Clyfford Still painting was received as a housewarming gift.

8th Place:



Frederic Remington Portrait – Antiques Roadshow US 2015
Appraisal: $800,000
Location: Birmingham, Alabama


Frederic Remington painted a portrait of his good friend and the owner's great-grandfather, Lea Febiger. Together with the painting came the letter written by Febiger, describing the friendship.

7th Place:


Alexander Calder mobile – Antiques Roadshow US 2011
Appraisal: $400,000 – $1,000,000
Location: Miami Beach, Florida


Inventor of mobile Alexander Calder gave this piece from the 1940s to his aunt as a gift.

6th Place:

Boston Red Stockings memorabiliaBoston Red Stockings memorabilia

Boston Red Stockings memorabilia – Antiques Roadshow US 2015
Appraisal: $1,000,000
Location: New York City, New York

In 1870 Atlanta Braves were known as Boston Red Stocking. This collection of cards and other memorabilia presents the most valuable find of sports items in the history of the show.

5th Place:

Diego Rivera’s “El Albañil” oil paintingDiego Rivera’s “El Albañil” oil painting

Diego Rivera's "El Albañil" oil painting – Antiques Roadshow US 2013
Appraisal: $1,000,000
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas


Number 5 on our list of 11 most expensive items found on Antiques Roadshow is "El Albañil". Rue Ferguson, the owner, says that his great-grandparents bought the 1904 Rivera's painting in Mexico.

4th Place:

18th century Qianlong jade collection from Qing Dynasty18th century Qianlong jade collection from Qing Dynasty

Qing Dynasty jade collection- Antiques Roadshow US 2010
Appraisal: $1,070,000
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina


When Jinx Taylor's father bought four carved jade pieces in China during the 1930s, he probably couldn't imagine what kind of family heirloom he created for his daughter.

3rd Place:

A gold-plated Leica Luxus II cameraA gold-plated Leica Luxus II camera

A gold-plated Leica Luxus II camera – Antiques Roadshow UK 2001
Appraisal: $780,000 – $1,252,000
Location: Wales, UK


Despite the appraisal value, this one of a kind Leica was sold for $680,000 in Hong Kong auction in 2013. At the time it was found, it was thought to be the most valuable item ever found in Antiques Roadshow UK.

2nd Place:

Chinese cups carved from rhinoceros hornsChinese cups carved from rhinoceros horns

Chinese cups carved from rhinoceros horns – Antiques Roadshow US 2012
Appraisal: $1,000,000 – $1,500,000
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma


The collection of rhinoceros cups from 18th century China is the most valuable item ever brought to the PBS Antiques Roadshow.

1st Place:

The model of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the NorthThe model of Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North


The model of Antony Gormley's Angel of the North – Antiques Roadshow UK 2008
Appraisal: $1,565,000
Location: Gateshead, UK

The most expensive item found on Antiques Roadshow is the model of Angel of the North statue. The author himself, Antony Gormley, made it in order to present his idea to the buyers, the Gateshead Council.



Much has been said about vintage secretary desks on shows like Antique Roadshow.

The reason people have been talking and showcasing these types of desks is because they are timeless and classic. They are very easy to integrate into any home decor; and the classic look of a shelf that can turn into a desk saves space. In short, they combine practicality and style in a timeless piece.

I'm a part time collector -- and myself will not invest more than $3,000.00 in any piece for the casual investor in antique furniture.

If you become emotionally attached to a desk, then you move up to $4,000.00 -- anything above that is a waste of money in my opinion.

The reason why you want a vintage secretary desk is because of the timelessness and antique have stood the test of time. If you are not willing to spend 3K on a desk, I recommend you get a replica.

Happy hunting.