Should I buy this Antique Secretary?

For fear of jinxing my New Year’s Resolution, I won’t type it out explicitly – but okay yes I will type it out explicitly cause I’m already jinxed. It had something to do with putting an end to spending money on my home and/or clothing for 3-4 months and focusing instead on the Vintage Shasta Camper, a Fence for Pollock, a vehicle with which to pull my Vintage Shasta Camper, or uh… oh yeah – federal and state taxes (geez!!).

Yet – the forces of ANTI RESOLUTION have already started their work on me by introducing me to this Secretary at the Antique Market here in Hickory, NC.

The Estate of Things chooses Secretary Desk

I was just reviewing the Eddie Ross site today and saw his Secretary Desk Before/After shots from his year in review post. There I commented – asking how much he might say was the minimum to maximum that you would want to pay for this piece.  But I have no patience? How much would you pay for this thing and should I even do it!? Help Me!!

The Estate of Things chooses Eddie Ross' Secretary Desk The Estate of Things chooses Eddie Ross' Secretary DeskThanks for playing,


And now a quick word from our sponsors!


Written By
More from Betsy

Wish List

I got one of these for my Mom for Mother’s Day and...
Read More


  • There’s a couple listings in LA for $150 – $350. I do like his after shots. I’d say get it if the price is right.

  • i wouldn’t buy it at all. thinking logically, in accordance to your new years resolution — save the money. however, if you really really really really want it – and think that buying it and remodeling it like Eddie did might actually increase its value, then it might be a wise move. in case you ever want to sell it one day, and can make a profit. but how does that work? don’t antiques lose their value when they are modified, i.e., not have original color, stain, whatever? i ask because i’m ignorant.

    bottom line… if it’s an investment(in addition to making you happy), then you can justify the purchase! so here’s what i would pay – nothing more than what you think you could sell it for one day.

    in my own personal opinion.. the desk that YOU want looks like it has a beautiful dark wood stain already… i like it.

  • I say go buy it…if it’s under $500. does it have a stamp on the back with manufacturing information? it looks like a solid piece. i’m jealous…d says i cannot bring more furniture home so i’ve put a hold on my buying!

  • Joel, you’re a hero.
    So – can I resell it for a greater value – I doubt it, not if I paint it purple?
    Is painting antique furniture a trend that we will soon disdain as we do the Keep Calm & Carry On Poster?

  • haha! Mrs. Rauth, I love you. Your response is the little recession be darned devil on one shoulder and Joel’s is the other guy. I’ll have to go back and look for the manufacturer info.

  • I am pretty sure that painting it will not add value.

    However, I live by the mantra that if you like it well enough and its worth it to you, buy it. Unless you are in the business of buying and selling antiques, make yourself happy. Buy the damn thing.

  • I say buy it. In fact, buy everything. You will stimulate the economy, so buy the Secretary, a cool fence for Mr. Mouth Magnet, fix up your Shasta fancier than the Design Within Reach Airstream, and get yourself a nice truck. While you are at it, get me a Land Rover LR3, my own camper, and a Loft in Little Tokyo. Saving money just ruins the economy.

  • I’d say wait. If you know what you want (and how to modify it) you can wait for something slightly damaged to come around. Wood filler, glue and paint are remarkably cheap, but it’s amazing how much a deep gouge or loose veneer can lower the value of a piece. Take advantage of that.

  • I totally agree with Chris. If it’s marked over $300-, I say its a no go. The value for you is the look and the result once it’s painted not whether it’s Drexel or Lexington and it’s actual value as an antique. Considering you personally and your financial circumstances unless it’s a bargain–leave it there. And if you find that you are lying in bed thinking about it sitting in your office then you should head back to the Antique Market. By the way I have been thinking about that whale print that we saw at the Hickory Antiques Market, I left it there.

  • I know. I looked for the whale print and its gone. I’m so sorry. I also can’t get the Habitat for Humanity people to budge on those bentwood kids chairs with the big NFS written on them. No one is in charge there.

    Thanks for all the advice. I’m gonna leave it there. I really like your style Chris.

  • Oh tsk tsk Betsy, to even think you would unresolve your resolution so soonly!! Don’t do it, it is in my humble opinion not so grand. You can get grander for less and a little extra work. I know you said you would leave it there, I hope you hang on to your resolve and leave it behind. Put the $ where you need to now and in the near future you will have the extra bucks to snatch something up that you could never think of leaving behind! Happy New Year

  • Thanks Betsy. I was going to use the example of our awesome dining room table and six (!) chairs that I got for $10 because a large mouth magnet had gnawed on two corners (fixed with bondo and paint in an afternoon.. not even sure which corners they are anymore) but I didn’t want to bore anyone.

    Either way, $329 is still too much considering that antique shop probably paid $100. Having parents who were antique dealers & refinishers does, occasionally, pay off for everyone. ;)

  • OOh. I didn’t know your parents were Antique dealers! That’s fantastic. I’ll keep the questions coming your way then! Do you know anything about the value of old iron beds.

    The $10 table thing is quite inspiring. That really is walking away feeling like you stole something! I like those kind of deals the best. :)

  • Update to this post.
    I went to a different Antiques Shop this weekend and saw a similar piece (but with the more desirable glass frame design as Eddie’s) and it was priced at $750..

  • Hi I want to follow up on this discussion, but I am new to all of this blogging. How do I subscriber to this? Is it through an rss or something? And I know little about coffee, maybe Ican learn something here.

  • Hi I want to follow up on this discussion, but I am new to all of this blogging. How do I subscriber to this? Is it through an rss or something? And I know little about coffee, maybe Ican learn something here.

  • Hi I want to follow up on this discussion, but I am new to all of this blogging. How do I subscriber to this? Is it through an rss or something? And I know little about coffee, maybe Ican learn something here.

  • Hello I want to follow up on this article, but I am new to all of this. Is it through an rss or something? I hope I can learn something here.

Comments are closed.