|Description: A Sheraton-styled secretary desk with slender turned legs that supports a slant-top desk writing surface. The desk has a hinged lid that opens a large compartment for storing stationary supplies and smaller shelves behind two solid panel doors. A protruding cornice completes the top of the secretary desk. The piece is painted and grained on the exterior to resemble oak, and the interior is unpainted pine. The cupboard is detachable from the desk writing surface.
History: The desk is from Canada or the United States, nineteenth-century. Written in pencil on the inside of the left hand door is 'Arthur Nelles Boston', 'Carrell Nelles', and 'Nell Barber'. Written in ink on one of the shelves is, 'Spar Varnish'. On the underside of the desk lid in pencil is, 'Simcoe (unreadable date) ', 'S - Bollert'. And 'Frank Kelley Aylmer West, Ont', 'Frank Kelley (unreadable)'. Written in pencil around the edge of the drawer is 'Arthur Nelles' 'March the 17, 1945.'
Sheraton is a late 18th century neoclassical English furniture style, in vogue about 1785-1800, that was named afterwards (by 19th century collectors and dealers) to credit furniture designer Thomas Sheraton, whose books of engraved designs capture this style. Sheraton style employs slender lightweight forms, using satinwood, mahogany or painted finishes. Without pedantic archaeology, it brought the Neo-Classical taste of architects like Robert Adam within reach of the middle class. In many respects Sheraton style corresponds with the contemporary Directoire style of France. Reference: ww.en/wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheraton.
Spar Varnish is a finish that is specially formulated for outdoor furniture and boats. Spar Varnish is traditionally made from tung oil and phenolic resin. It has UV inhibitors to protect the wood from the harmful effects of the sun. It is flexible, so it tolerates the extremes of wood movement. Ref.: http://woodworking.about.com/od/glossaries/g/sparvarnish.htm.; www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00063.asp.