Sunday, January 13, 2013

Vintage Writing Desk unjunked

I was the only one who climbed the attic in the old house.  Clearance to the roof was so low, that sitting on haunches, the head would touch the roof.  It was a deep and dusty attic built of wood on the worship room. It was accessible at the kitchen. A shelf placed there served as a ladder to climb up. Whenever there was a need to take out the huge brass vessels [once used in the large family itself daily!] for cooking  before a large gathering arranged at our house, I was summoned to climb and also later to keep them back.   Many of the items 'dumped' there were perhaps untouched since 1950 when my grandfather had moved in to that house.  I used to take that opportunity to look for curious things I had never seen.  

One such thing was a writing desk that belonged to my great grandfather.  The person using the desk squatted on the floor in front of it while it held papers, pens and ink. The writing plank was a shutter to the contents and it could be locked too.  I have grabbed an image from the web to show how it was: 

I brought it down.  One of its four legs was already missing.  I found out it was of rosewood and really old. It must have been an item my great grandfather used since his childhood in the 19th century, or so I thought.  The 'writing' plank was also broken.  But only the drawer portion with two brass handles was fine.  The smoothness of operation of the draw itself is testimony to the workmanship and also the amount of use it has undergone with my ancestor. It seemed to have lived its full service life.  

But I still saw some life in the lovely drawer. 

After thinking and thinking how to use it, I got a wonderful idea.  At the same time, I was yearning for a drawer to my old desk where I needed to keep my pencils, erasers and pens. Necessity is the mother of brilliant ideas, right?  

So what I did?  It was on 15.2.1991 [recorded in the draw liner by me!]  I measured the width of the draw, cut up the horizontal piece from the desk to fit it.  I used 'L' brackets below the desk to hold the unit in place. By doing this, I increased the utility value of my desk manifold.  I retained two of its back legs as if 'hanging down', one of which is visible in this picture. 

The original lock was missing.  Old brass handles.  It is a pleasure to operate the draw!

That slanting desk had a portion that had 8 little compartments a la an elephant stable.  I was using this on the wall for sometime to keep electric bulbs, one bulb fitted in one compartment. Now it has gone back to the junk box.  But this 'drawer idea' is one of my favorites.   

Two legs are intact and one was missing, right?  I forgot to tell what I made with the third one that I had to cut because it would hurt my knee when I sat at the desk.  A few years ago, it found some use:

Handle.  The bell is a vintage bronze cup!  Produces nice and loud vibrations!

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