My New Secretary: A Love Affair

I apologize if my post title lured you in with the expectation of sordid details, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I truly am smitten with my newest acquisition.

IMG_7301It’s a Drexel Declaration secretary! Tambour doors, slide-out desktop, and those legs—it was lust at first sight.


Though I loved it at first sight, I didn’t really think I was going to get it. When I saw the ad it had been posted for over five hours. I figured my chances were nil, but I sent the email and waited. Miraculously, the next morning I discovered I was first in line for not only this, but also a matching bachelor chest.

IMG_7307This bachelor has lived a rough life and he’ll be needing some cosmetic attention to repair numerous scrapes and a sizable dent in the top. I’m anxious to try a steaming trick that I’ve heard puts damage like this back on the level. I’ll keep you posted on that process.

IMG_7310If you’re a long time reader of the blog, you’re probably already aware that I have a bit of an obsession with Drexel Declaration. It all started with a single coffee table six years ago and has now grown to over 20 pieces. You can check out some of my other pieces here, here, here and here.

Original Drexel catalog. Image from Retro Rennovaiton

Original Drexel catalog. Image from Retro Renovation

Declaration was designed by Kipp Stewart and Stewart Mac Dougall for Drexel in 1958. The design was inspired by the craftsmanship and detailing of Shaker furniture melded with a modern aesthetic. The result was a fully packed line of refined and solidly built mid-century modern pieces. There were two hardware options: white porcelain pulls or brass pulls with Formica inlays. Most of my pieces have the porcelain pulls, I’ll probably be on the lookout for replacements so I can switch out the brass pulls on these new pieces.


One of my favorite aspects of Declaration is the level of documentation each piece has. I’ve yet to find an unmarked or undated piece. Manufactured in 1962 and 1966, these pieces are among the youngest in my rapidly growing collection.


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One Comment

  1. Edith
    Posted July 6, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    I’m looking for this desk/bookcase to update my daughter’s study habits. It looks like what we need. She has the vanity from her grandmother and we’re looking for this secretary with the pullout desk top.

    If you ever need to redesign your rooms and replace your secretary, or if you know of another to purchase, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    All the best,

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