AW says: This is an antique “side by side” as they are most commonly called in the trade. It was probably sold as Oak, but much of what was, was actually elm, a sister wood whose grain was almost identical to oak.
This has applied carving and a pressed design. The applied carving was an automation process that gave wood pieces a hand carved look, but from pieces that were previously machine carved, then applied to the piece later.
The “pressed ” design that is most evident on the front of the drop front desk in this unit was heavily stamped into the piece of wood by a large punch.
There are paw feet in the front which help the value. As does the beautiful beveled glass mirror. But there is door to the china closet side that is missing. This will lower the value.
These antique oak victorian side by sides were popular in the sears catalogs during the turn of the 20th century, and came in quite a few different versions.
I have enclosed pictures of a 5 piece parlor set that has been in our family since at least about 1920 but it may be older. I came from central California. I believe it is made of California oak but this is just an assumption. It has been reupholstered. I am not interested in selling it but may donate it to a historic home. That is why I am curious about the set’s worth.
AW says: Hey there Fred! Whether or not this is California Oak is tough to say, but I believe that’s irrelevant to the price. This is a turn of the 20th century golden oak set, and what I really like about it is that the set if finished with acorn finials atop the support posts.
It has applied carvings on the back, and of course, it’s been re-upholstered.
Photo #5 is of a note attached to the desk that describes its history with the Mission Inn, Riverside.
It is in beautiful condition,
AW says: The fact that you have the provenance will help if you sell it locally. To find a good auction in your area, I suggest you use www.auctionzip.com which is a directory of auction houses searchable by zip code.
Your desk is English in the Gothic style, circa mid to late 1800s. It’s made of Oak , with tiger oak, or quarter-sawn oak cuts.