Overall dimensions measure 71" tall x 44" wide x 15 1/2" deep. Height can be easily adjusted to fit your needs.
Receiving an inheritance from someone you love is always a special, bittersweet experience. After all, it’s a rare opportunity to really understand that person. Hand-me-down jewelry and furniture has a way of revealing secrets, as we saw with this beautiful silver locket that doubled as an urn. There’s also a tiny spark of excitement whenever you handle antique or vintage items; you never know what you can find!
For example, one young man recently hit the cool-discovery jackpot when he noticed something funny about a carved wooden wardrobe he inherited from his granddad. Inside, one of the drawers seemed loose, and after some poking and prodding, he discovered an entire hidden compartment concealed from sight. As if a secret drawer isn’t cool enough on its own, the compartment also hid some fascinating bits and pieces of family history. He explains that he actually inherited it a few years ago, but hadn’t given it a thorough, deep cleaning. He doesn’t explain in the post, but it’s likely that he was preparing the cabinet for restoration. The inside is unfinished, or old enough that it appears unfinished.
So it definitely seems like it needs a good scrub and perhaps a new coat of finish. And when he goes ahead and slips the divider out of the wardrobe, he discovers that it’s actually another, hidden drawer. The drawer divider is fitted with a small compartment that is pushed to the very back of the cabinet. It’s the perfect place to hide stuff that you’d rather keep away from prying eyes. And that’s exactly what this young man’s grandfather did.
You can see a few objects tucked away in the secret compartment. At first glance, it’s pretty hard to tell what any of the objects are. It might look like an old-timey version of a nail clipper, but instead it appears to be a device for pressing out buckshot pellets. Buckshot, made in the 1800s from soft lead, was made by pressing scrap lead into a mold like this one. There’s also a supply of buckshot in the secret compartment, in a small leather pouch. Now, folks use shotgun shells, but buckshot pellets were once loaded into shotguns loose. Have you ever discovered a secret compartment?
One of my favorite things to learn about is secret spaces, hidden messages and concealed compartments. It turns out that lots of collectors are eager to own a secret compartment, too. We’ve handled a number of these clever items and here’s a few of my favorites. Two great paneled doors open up to reveal dozens of drawers, paper slots and tiny compartments suitable for holding enough supplies to run a small business. Wooten desks were a status symbol, for sure, and were often custom built for their owners. The hinge is nearly invisible but allows the two sides to split open, revealing a simple watch face. It’s easy to see how craftsmanship affects value and sometimes an item’s true value is enhanced by the ingenuity built inside. Gadget canes are popular collectibles and are known to hide everything from liquor to firearms. It’s dazzling the lengths some cane makers would go to hide compartments. Sometimes you could guess what the hidden image was going to be before the fold but other times the joke wasn’t so clear. Collecting is a way of being, a purview that explains the world around us and keeps us in touch with our collective past. So much space to store everyday stuff and less used stuff!
Secret Spaces Concealed Compartments
Definitely not seventies - most of that was either colonial inspired or ornate and bulky. Had a chain on the back to hang it from a hemp hook!
Up until this point, people had to make do with concealing their money and valuables within their furniture. Items such as desks, chests and tables, were all adapted to cleverly conceal our ancestor’s possessions, anything from jewellery and cash to important documents such as deeds and wills. This was not only to deter intruders, but also the prying hands of greedy servants!
The most common use of the secret compartment was in desks, or bureaus. Within a bureau, this might be a small section, a grouping of pigeonholes and small drawers with or without a front. Such a section is an inch or two shallower than the pigeonholes and drawers on either side; it then pulls out as a unit. This nineteenth century writing slope has a secret compartment concealed beneath its ink and nib trays. Its original intended use was as a portable writing desk that people would take traveling. It would store all kinds of stationary and writing utensils. Sometimes, the box would have a secret compartment for storing valuables. A brass rectangle plaque is inlaid on the top as well. Around the lock is another rectangle shaped inlay. The lock works and there is a key for it!
Upon opening this antique writing slope a black leather writing surface is revealed. Both sides of the slope lift up to reveal storage. In the larger side lifting up the slope allows you to lift up on a fake panel and reveal the hidden drawers (see pictures). Such a hidden area is hard to find and really makes this an exciting piece!
Hidden Compartment Coffee Table Hidden Compartment Coffee Table Antique Furniture
The only non-cosmetic mark is a small chip to the corner of one of the halves of the slope. The leather is no longer connected where the box is hinged and currently is connected by a strip of black tape. An age separation has occurred on the very bottom of the box as well.
We feel this piece is in good overall condition as the exterior hinges are strong, it is structurally sound, and it looks good for being over 120 years old. Don’t miss your chance to own an actual antique writing slope with a secret compartment today!
Did you scroll all this way to get facts about hidden compartment furniture ?
The most common hidden compartment furniture material is wood. It was a dark and foreboding structure at the end of dead end street with woods on two sides of it. The street actually doesn't even exist anymore. The house looked a little bit like this one though not as beaten up. Trunks in the attic were full of tintype photos and old glass perfume bottles.
In truth, it was just a creepy turn of the century cellar filled with old tools. Apparently the neighbors did the same and soon enough they became competitors.
You can read all about it in my memoir once it's finally finished, but for now dearies that's all you get.
I only bring this up to explain the existence of a secret door in the floor of the house's dining room. Under the rug there was a small door with a metal ring for a handle. The door led to a series of tunnels out into the backyard where the original copper still was stored along with 60 year old bottles of hooch.
So that's where all the magic moonshine happened. Here are a few of my favorite hiding places.
I think their bookcases are the best option. Before there were safety deposit boxes, there was trick furniture. Valuables were stashed away in secret drawers. The most famous of which can be viewed in all its mechanical clockwork splendor here. My lips are sealed, but let's just say if you have the choice between buying an antique and a new piece of furniture, always go antique. Traveling was especially dangerous in ye olde days so a lady needed to hide her valuables. This vanity case with a secret drawer sure is pretty, if impractical by today's standards.
You can always hide your goodies in your expansive library of first editions. Easy enough to carve out the pages or purchase one pre-made like this ca. A triple compartment enamel poison ring ca. Sometimes the message isn't so sweet as in this ring which bears occult symbols and has a poison chamber.
No one sends a nice message with a ram's head. Jewelry with secret compartments was the precursor to mourning jewelry where pieces of hair were kept in lockets, pins, rings etc. The covers come off to reveal the diamonds inside. This intricately carved ball from the 16th century holds layers of biblical scenes and was used for prayer. Check out this recent auction for examples that will make you blush. May all your jewels be safe and all your secrets well kept. If you’re looking for a place to keep everything out of sight and help keep clutter at bay, you’re in good company. Try building this piece of furniture yourself and you’ll have plenty of space to store your books and collectibles. Use it to keep your car keys and your wallet in one place. This floating shelf has a secret drawer to help keep clutter at bay and hide valuables. It is made from reclaimed barn wood and has a distressed finish.
You can build this piece yourself in just a couple days. Add it to your entryway or mudroom to keep the space organized. Try these 15 tips for keeping your mudroom organized. This rustic coffee table can be made in custom sizes. Consider these 14 cool homemade coffee table ideas. Try these 11 ideas for organizing your living room. Store bottles on the top and hang some wine or martini glasses on the bottom. Here’s an easy-to-make wine rack to store bottles and glasses.
Man Finds Loose Board In Grandpa's Armoire Then Discovers Hidden
When, in the late 1960's, he decided to apply his skills to making more comfortable and conventional pieces on a commercial basis, the former magician succeeded in transferring an element of magic while eliminating the discomfort. In one custom-made etag ere, for example, a secret drawer would glide open when a book with a sensor was placed on a specific shelf. A glass table top over a stainless-steel frame can hide few secrets. Jackson says that secret compartments disappeared with the highly skilled craftsman at the turn of the century. In addition, a mass- produced desk with a secret drawer would not remain secret for long. He and his associates have built secret rooms in a number of houses. By chamfering the corners of the room with swiveling bookcases, he created leftover spaces. Simon believes secret places have a wide appeal. He also uses the classic short drawer, in which a hidden space is concealed behind a drawer that appears to be full depth. Yudell, the security of a hidden compartment is almost secondary to its psychological and romantic appeal. One cane is a fishing pole; another contains a liquor flask and glasses. In one chest with six compartments, it is necessary to find and open the first compartment and each succeeding compartment to get to the others. The initial compartment presents perhaps the greatest riddle. It requires opening a complex lock with a key that also unscrews a bolt six inches long. Unscrewing the bolt itself takes six minutes. There is in the most elaborately concealed places almost a ritual of secrecy, known only to the initiate. Their timeless beauty, hardy craftsmanship, and deep history are just a few reasons why many people love them. One really cool and unique feature of many antiques is something that might come as a surprise. They have awesome storage space and often contain secret compartments and drawers!
And, its origins are really quite logical. Hundreds of years ago, people didn’t exactly have access to a bank and safety deposit box. They were required to hide their most precious belongings in their homes. And thus, furniture boasting secret compartments was born. Whether it was money, jewelry, important documents or simply items with sentimental value, secret compartments could hide it from the unsuspecting eye. Bureaus, traveling desks, chests, and full sized desks very often boasted secret compartments. Some pieces of furniture were really quite remarkable in their secret functions.
This stunning piece of furniture is truly a work of art. And, to think that it was crafted with just the use of hand tools and elbow grease!
The piece features an old turn-key lock that opens up to two drawers. The door then opens to what appears to be three drawers atop one another. Once you truly begin to explore the drawers come out on hinges, and the apparent “cabinet” turns into a desk. There is even a hidden, internal mechanism that contains secret drawers and a secret strong box!
From the outside, it simply looks like an ordinary bureau that one would assume opens up to some shelving or a rod for hanging. After turning the outside key, and opening the outer door, another layer of doors and drawers is exposed. The top door is opened again with the turn-key lock and reveals what appears to be six drawers (three on each side) on the sides with a compartment in the center. However, further exploration would reveal four hidden side compartments behind each row of three drawers!
We can only speculate about what these secret spaces were used to hide!
A look behind where the drawers were pulled from reveals two secret drawers behind the initial drawers.
furniture secret compartments e zen
And, a tug on the divider of the drawers reveals another secret drawer!
There are more secret compartments hiding behind the secret drawers that are hiding behind the visible drawers!
As you start pulling out drawers, assess the size of the drawer for space from which it came. If the size is smaller than you would expect, keep looking. Put your hand back in the space and feel around the sides to determine if any further compartments exist. In fact, so well, that they are apt to be considered as just literary props, something to sustain a tale and maintain necessary suspense. Today, sensible people keep their current funds in banks and their stocks and bonds and the like in safe-deposit boxes. Before that, the man of property secured his movable possessions against thieves as best he could in strong boxes and cleverly concealed places of hiding in furniture and behind secret panels that, like the modern safe combination, baffled the outsider. The central cabinet can be removed and hides four drawers and two document boxes. But the details of the story are beside the point.
I know of a collector who owned a piece of furniture for several years before finding that it even had a secret compartment. Many a piece has yielded up its hidden caches only when sent to a cabinetmaker for thorough reconditioning. Some pieces have a single secret; others have a score. There were twenty-one in this simple slant-top desk. At the left is the central cabinet that has been removed. The door is partly open, showing its pigeonholes and drawer. In the interior are shown the pair of document boxes and four small drawers concealed behind the cabinet. This might readily go unnoticed and provided a good hiding place for pieces of silver. However, the old cabinetmakers were practical men and probably did not waste their skill on useless details. So we may assume that the owners of pieces with secret compartments used the latter for hiding certain valuables and in time passed on the knowledge to the next of kin.
Today, it is the hope that something of more interest than a paid bill may have been forgotten or overlooked in one of these caches that adds zest to antique furniture collecting. The central section has been removed to show the pocket concealed at the back. In the foreground are two of the secret drawers. At the back can be seen an additional document box that slides behind the pigeonholes on that side. Access is through the sliding panel built into the writing surface, which has been pushed back. Next are the chests; then come sideboards, highboys and chests on chests. These are arranged as they fit into the space in front of this miniature chest.
In the center of the interior is a small door flanked by classical pilasters. Behind it is a little compartment, removable if pressed carefully, and back of that two tiers of four very small drawers. The desk was, of course, the favorite for such features. Here the owner wrote and transacted his business and here his money and papers could be put away. It pulls out as a unit but is held firmly in place by slots of wood that slide sidewise and are usually concealed in the top or by some sort of wooden spring that must be pressed to release the section. This gives the needed hold for operating either slots or spring.
Furniture Secret Compartments Bedside Table With Secret Compartment Epic Hidden
The second most usual location for secret places is behind the half-column pilasters flanking the central section. Wooden spring catches hold them in place and access to these catches is usually by way of round holes, about three-quarters of an inch in diameter, in the upright partitions at either side of the central section. But document boxes of this type became too common. In some desks and secretaries, one finds the pilasters made as an integral part of the removable central section. Then such document boxes, behind them and separate from the pilasters, were available only after the central section had been released. Other places of hiding were small shallow drawers concealed behind the arched trim at the top of the regular pigeonholes. At other times one finds additional document boxes concealed behind the pigeonholes which slide sidewise after the central cabinet has been removed. The desk that has this feature also is provided with a most ingenious set of hiding places that take the place of the first large drawer beneath the level of the writing top. At the front is a series of three hidden drawers without knobs that are released by using the fingernails along the upright cracks that separate them. At the back of the well is a hiding spot the full width of the desk interior which is concealed by a thin panel that moves forward when the central cabinet has been taken out. Behind it one sees three pockets about a half inch from front to back. Beneath this are two small triangular drawers that would readily go unnoticed. These features were excellent hiding places for jewelry. The sliding brackets on which the slant top rested when open were of the usual thickness and height, an inch by three and one-half, but one of them had a secret place.
Antique furniture secret compartments
If the first large drawer in the lower part was taken out, the pin that stopped the slide when pulled forward could be removed. Who would suspect so unassuming a country-made desk of having a hiding place. Yet there it was to prove what some cabinetmaker could do for a customer who wanted such security. Chests with secret drawers of this sort were made in both full size and miniatures. Their painted decorations also helped to conceal the fact that one end was movable. In other chests where a small covered box or “till” was built into them, usually at the upper left-hand end, the inner side of the till was frequently movable. The highboy is another piece of furniture that frequently possessed a secret compartment. When such highboys were new, the cornice molding and the drawer behind it fitted so closely that there was no indication that a drawer was concealed behind it. Later as the sides or runs of these drawers wore, through use, the molding front had a tendency to sag slightly, thus giving a clue to what was hidden behind it. It was quite a nice desk and was auctioned off when the school closed down and the property sold.
I was wondering if anyone has seen this type of desk.
I would love to try to acquire one for my home.