A rare antique desk that had been stored in a bedroom for many years was recently valued at around $250,000 (£159,000), surprising its owners, who were from Carencro, Louisiana.
The appraiser, David J. Goldberg from New Orleans, shocked the family even further when he said that the desk may even sell for more than that sum at auction. The object, along with a chair, had previously belonged to Merwin “Bill” Hale Wilkinson Jr., who had bequeathed the items to his family. The set had been handed down to Wilkinson himself by relatives.
The family had invited the appraiser to value some other pieces of furniture at the property, but he said that he realised the desk was something special as soon as he spotted it. According to Goldberg, it was produced by Louis Majorelle and is an ‘Orchid’ design.
Majorelle (1859- 1926) was popular around the same time as Louis Comfort Tiffany, and famed for making Art Nouveau furniture. His speciality was to embellish the designs he produced with life-sized lilies and orchids made of gilt bronze. Only a few pieces have survived, which can often be found in public and private collections. Experts say that it is almost unheard of to find a piece that isn’t already known of.
An antique desk like this would be suitable for a room that is furnished with vintage furniture of a similar style, perhaps such as an antique sofa, as they would complement one another.
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