Oak S Roll Top Desk

Oak S Roll Top Desk
The drawers make the difference.

Side view panels roll top desk

Oak S Roll Top Desk Value

Bernie says:

Hello Walt,

What is this Oak s roll top desk value? The roll top is raised panel throughout. 21 horizontal drawers 2 of which are lockable and 1 left and vertical drawer. Condition excellent.

AW says: This is an excellent example of an antique roll-top desk. It has some great features that we like to see in the collectible models.

First is the large amount drawers, nearly any piece of furniture with a lot of drawers is going to sell well, but it’s an especially important factor for a desk. Next, the desk is solid oak, opposed to veneer.

The banks go all the way to the floor which is a must for an attractive desk to be suitable for home use.

It’s an S-Roll which is more popular than the C-Roll models.

The carved fluted handles are original and aesthetically pleasing.

And the sides of this desk are beautifully paneled with beveled inserts. Therefore,  placement in just about any part of the room is doable.

The desk is circa turn of the 20th century.

Retail value: $3,200

Wholesale Value: $2,000

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Roll Top Oak Desk Appraisal

Kristi asks:

Hello!  I purchased an online appraisal for a Roll Top Desk and Chair that is part of my father’s estate.  I need a value of this for his estate inventory.  The desk is actually in excellent condition but is extremely dusty.  The desk top measures approx. 50 inches X 30 inches and the chair seat is approx. 22 X 19 and the back rest of the chair is 30 inches tall from the base of the seat.  From what I can tell is that it originally belonged to a Dr. E. M. Tyler of Auburn NE in roughly the 1910’s.

Any help that you can provide would be appreciated.
Thanks so much!

Roll Top Oak Desk

AW says: This type of roll top desk, is referred to as an S-Roll because of the s-curve the roll top takes on the tambour door rolls. Generally speaking, s-rolls are more desirable than the more industrial looking C-rolls. Which as their name would imply, drops down in a cylinder or a “c” shape.
Your desk is made of solid oak. It has several desirable factors not seen in every roll top. First as I’d mentioned above, it’s an s-roll. Next is that it has attractive beveled panel sides. Then it also has banks that go all the way to the floor which is much better than drawers that go down to short legs. The fact that it is solid oak rather than veneer is helpful as well.
Roll top desks really came into fashion in the 1910s, making their way into offices and stately homes.
Usually they had plenty of desk top area, and most importantly, many drawers, pigeon holes and storage spaces in back of the writing area.
Most of them also had a lock that could be used when the roll was down to secure privacy.
The chair ads a bit of value, but really, it’s all about the desk.
Your desk is circa 1910s
Retail value: $900-$1,200
Wholesale value: $400-$800 (currently large pieces of furniture are less desirable to dealers hence the large price discrepancy )

What’s it worth? Appraisal cylinder Roll-top desk

I have sent two pictures of the desk, and can send more if needed. A description is this: is at least 60-80 years old, maybe older, and is three pieces (not including the desk drawers). Needs a good cleaning, which I can do, but have not done at the time of the photos.


 cylinder roll top desk

rolltop desk

 AW says: What you have is called a “cylinder roll top” desk. This refers to the roll which is a solid barrel roll piece as opposed to the tambour type which are like slats or ribs on a canvas strap. Your desk is most likely made of walnut, and is probably English or European judging by the gallery on top, and the leather inserts.

Also, it’s more formal and refined than what you usually see in a commercial office, and was likely built for a home or a home office. The drawer banks go all the way to the floor, as opposed to being up on feet, which is good. The sides are panelled and the desk appears to be in very good condition. It’s circa 1910s-30s.

Retail value: $900-$1,200

Wholesale: $300-$600 (The reason for the large gap, is because furniture is selling very slow right now, which means dealers are paying less than usual as they don’t want to sit on inventory for a long time.)