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Roll  Top Desks

Although we have no production data available, we would speculate that the more common pedestal style desks outnumbered the roll top models.  However, based on the number of contacts that we have had along with the examples that have been offered for sale, the roll tops seem to have survived in greater numbers.

This was reported as a personal walnut roll-top desk of J. Paul Getty. It was purchased by the Swaney family while visiting Brighton, England in 1981. There are letters from the Getty Museum that supports the history of ownership. This beautiful piece of mastery was manufactured by Doten-Dunton Desk Company, Boston, Massachusetts. The brass plaque found in the desk is believed to have belonged to J. Paul Getty's father. Getty, the oil tycoon, inherited this from his father.

Measurements are 72 inches wide, 38 inches deep, 30-1/2 inches floor to desk area and 42 inches to top. The roll-down has a key.

Offered for sale on ebaY in December of 2000.

Desk rolltop walnut 1

Desk rolltop walnut 2

Desk rolltop walnut 3

This is another example of a Doten-Dunton roll top desk.  Made of solid mahogany, this desk was used by the president of a well known insurance company in New England until the 1960s when it was brought to his home. The desk has the manufacturer's logo stamped inside each drawer as shown in one picture. It is in reasonably good condition, couple of drawer pull are chipped and the top needs some restoration. The desk has the original finish. All sides and bottoms of drawers are solid mahogany. We even have the original mahogany dividers for inside the drawers. There is some damage from moving: the strip of mahogany along the rear between the desktop and upper drawers and cubbies has been cracked and re-glued. It does not show when the desk is assembled, and has been repaired professionally.

Desk rolltop mahogany 1

Desk rolltop mahogany 2

Desk rolltop mahogany 3

Desk rolltop mahogany 4 Desk rolltop mahogany 6

Desk rolltop mahogany 5

Along with the images above, here is a link to a piece that is privately owned.  They had created a web site containing images and a history of their desk.  Click here to visit and archived version of the site.

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