Cherry Fall Front Desk

For this latest post I have a cherry Fall Front Desk constructed locally here in Columbia County, NY (or possibly Albany) sometime during the first half of the 19th century. The fall front is inlaid with the initials CDLM, which refer to the Delameter family, whose descendants still reside in the area.IMG_2575
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The desk had been stored in a barn for many decades where it was home to mice and pigeons and had a pungent aroma (to put it mildly).  It needed a thorough cleaning inside and out.  There were numerous losses to the veneer, the feet had been cut down and it was missing some of the original hardware. Further, the parsons’ door on the interior was gone and needed to be replaced.  The pictures below show some of the work in progress
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The interior door was a particular challenge. The owner specified that he wanted it to be the centerpiece of the desk and so should have an inlaid design to match the exterior, including sand shaded quarter fans in all four corners (as on the drawer fronts) a center star in ebony and maple and the owners initials inlaid in a walnut field, as on the exterior of the fall front. The letters were cut using a technique known as conical sawing, in which the saw blade is tilted at an angle which helps to hide the joint lines. 
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Here is the desk with all repairs complete and the newly fabricated parson’s door in place. You might also note that the missing drawer pulls (see above) were replaced by recasting new pulls in brass using one of the original pulls as a model. 
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