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How An Antique Desk From The American Revolutionary Times Found Its Way Home.

How An Antique Desk From The American Revolutionary Times Found Its Way Home.

We recently acquired a great period American Federal Fall Desk from northern California. It still retained the original finish which was a shellac that had crackled over the years. This is how it looked when we received it:

AF5-018: Early 19th Century American Federal Mahogany Drop Front Desk - Jonathan C. Waldron, Stonington Conn.

We moved it into our workshop to clean off the old dirt and wax and to revive the original finish. In doing so we discovered an inscription under the main drawer inside the desk compartment.

The inscription was mostly legible & read:

 "This desk belonged to Jonathan C. Waldron of Stonington Conn. and used by him. When he died in 1837 left to George B. Waldron his nephew - when he died in 1865 given to J. Cook Waldron - used for a long time by him. He has given it to his son Jonathan Graham Waldron but JYatty to use it until Graham is old enough to need it. J. Cook Waldron"

After reading the inscription I did a Google search on Jonathan Waldron -Stonington Connecticut and found many references. He was prominent in Stonington and New England post revolutionary skirmishes with the British as they continued to try to undo the outcome of the Revolutionary War. Here is the relevant history we had posted.

"Jonathan Waldron (1789 - 1837) was a pillar of the Stonington Conn. community in the early 1800's. He is notable for his 25 ton schooner "Centurion" which was well known for many encounters with British vessels after the Revolutionary War. At the time of his death he endowed a charitable organization for the purpose of providing assistance to community residents who needed help paying for food, fuel, and clothing (raiment in the original text of Mr. Waldron’s bequest). The fund continues today as the Waldron - Williams fund after merging with a similar fund in 2021."

A few months after posting the desk listing, a descendant of Jonathan Waldron contacted us. He was in possession of family records that were passed down through the Waldron generations. His records contained references to a tall case clock and a desk having originally belonged to Jonathan Waldron and subsequently passed on to his heirs. The tall case clock had been accounted for since then and is now in the possession of the descendant who contacted us. At some point around 1930 the family descendants lost possession of the desk - that's when mention of the desk in the family records ceased - until now . . . 

 The happy ending of this story is that the desk has now been reunited with the Waldron tall case clock and Jonathan Waldron's descendant who is already making plans to pass them on to the next generation of Waldrons . . . 

To anyone reading this story who may have knowledge of where the desk may have been between 1930 and now, please let us know - we'd love to connect the dots on this one . . .

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