Return to the Antiques & Collectibles Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Hotel Dresser

Posted by lonestarlady (My Page) on
Wed, Sep 19, 12 at 9:07

I purchased this dresser over 20 years ago and was told then that it was a 'hotel' dresser. The top drawer is a desk that pulls out, complete with an ink well. We recently replaced the mirror because the original one was cracked in the move (I still have that one), and we have not put it back on yet.
Does anyone know how old it is, and an approximate value? I've never seen another dresser like it for a basis of comparision.
TYVM!

Here is a link that might be useful: Desk drawer


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

I have never heard those dresser desks called a hotel dresser....doesn't make much sense to me as it looks like something for long time use....with the cubby holes and all. My girl friend had one when I was young. How I envied her! All I had was a little desk that had been my great grandmother's...!! (poor me!)
It's a very utilitarian style, but made of quarter sawn oak, My guess on time period would be about 1920....and perhaps it was for a school dormitory, or a convent.
Linda C


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

I have a chest of drawers in a very similar style and know for a fact it was made circa 1910. So that era give or take ten years is a good guess. Not at all ornate, and sometimes that type of furniture was referred to as in the "Adams" style when it was sold new. It's listed as such in some of my old furniture catalogues, insinuating it is that era's version of early American. Just because it's not ornate and is heavy and functional doesn't make it something other than household furniture, and that's very well what it is. Here's the thing about those monikers hung on antiques when they're bought and sold. Purchasers take it to heart assuming the history of a piece was passed along it's sale's journey. More often than not, someone down the line hangs a guess on it and then it's passed on like it's cut in stone. Happens all the time in genealogy with oral tradition. It's a nice piece and you done good if you got it for a decent price. Shame about the mirror. That happened to a piece I was transporting too and I also shall have to replace it with a modern mirror and they do look different, have a different 'cast' to their reflection and depth of field.


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

Another ppoint in it's favor is the locks on the drawers....

Also a lot of the "monikers" have to do with a seller "romancing the stone" as it were...somewhere along the way. I have a friend who has a "covered wagon rocker" and a "hired hand's bed"...


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

I'm not following your gist of the locks on the drawers. Can you elaborate?


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

We have one circa 1840ish and in SO's family papers there is an inventory from the 19th c. that referred to it as a Gentleman's Desk or a Gentleman's Secretary.


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

Calliope, I think what Linda was saying (correct me if I'm wrong) is that a hotel dresser would not have locks on the drawers. There would be no real need, since there are keyed locks on the doors and most guests had a lockable trunk or suitcase. In fact, it would be a disadvantage, since guests would inadvertently walk off with keys.


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

I swear I thought I posted just what chibimimi just said! Guess that's one of those things where I wrote a post but the phone rang before I could post!

Anyhow, lockless dressers like that were often seen in dorm rooms and in lower end hotels...

Pal, I'll bet your 1840 gentlemen's desk looks very different from the one pictured. Perhaps we could see a picture of yours?
Linda C


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

Thank you all so much for the information. If I remember correctly, I paid in the neighborhood of $250 for the dresser 20 years ago.


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

Also known as a "Butler's Desk". It hid the sordid details of paying bills by looking like an ordinary dresser.

I can easily see that piece in a dormitory, because of the mirror. Multi-function, inexpensive and sturdy .. dorm furniture.


 o
RE: Hotel Dresser

The ink well probably dates it before 1945. If it was in a residence, there may be ink stains around the inkwell. If the inkwell was never used or the prior owner(s) were very careful it will be very clean.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Antiques & Collectibles Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here