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Antique secretary style is eclectic

BY ANNE McCOLLAM Published: June 11, 2012
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Q: My husband received the antique desk seen in this photo from his grandfather's estate in Westminster, Md., in the early 1980s. It is made of oak and does need some restoration.

The original finish needs restoration mostly on the drawers, and there is a piece missing on the side of the cornice.

What can you tell us about it and its value?

A: As a rule, your desk is called a secretary. The difference being a secretary is in two separate parts, the top usually has shelves behind glass doors. The top has a cornice often with a scrolled pediment.

A desk has a flat top. Your secretary was factory made around 1900. The style is eclectic, having borrowed decorative elements of the colonial period and also reflects the ingenuity and designs of Grand Rapids, Mich., manufacturers.

Similar secretaries can be found selling in the range of $800 to $1,200 in very good condition and not in need of restoration.

Q: I am curious about this mark that is on a vase we inherited from my great aunt. The vase stands 9 inches tall, is decorated with a green glaze and has handles on either side.

Anything you can tell us will be greatly appreciated.

A: Abingdon Pottery in Abingdon, Ill., made your vase. They started out producing porcelain plumbing pieces in 1908. In 1934, they introduced an art pottery line. The company was taken over by Briggs Manufacturing Co. in 1947.

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