SOLD Antique Child’s Desk and Chair with Alligatored Surface

A century ago in the ‘teens and 1920s, orange shellac was a popular finish on furniture. Over time, however, exposure to heat or strong sunlight sometimes resulted in the “alligatored” surface you see on this early child’s desk and chair.

For most owners of fine furnishings, alligatoring is an unhappy outcome. But it’s the very think that caught my eye. I love the way the old alligatored surface gives these well-used pieces a smart new look.

Dating from the early 1900s, the sturdy pine desk has the original tapered legs and a slanted lift-up top — with a few bits of early school papers stuck to the interior. Measuring 20” tall at the front, 24” at the back, 20″ wide and 14-1/2” deep, the desk is in very good, usable condition.

The small chair, with its bentwood headrest, pegged construction and various make-do repairs, appears to be earlier than the desk and isn’t a proper desk chair at all. But the two have no doubt been a pair for years.

The chair legs are original, but one is split where it joins the seat and has been crudely re-glued. Still, it will service nicely for a bear or doll but not a child, unless it’s properly repaired.


Click any image to enlarge it.