Cron-Kills Secretary

Remember when my mom bought that Transitional Rococo Revival/Renaissance Revival Chair at that estate sale a while back?  Well, she also placed a bid on (and won!) this beautiful secretary.

You'll have to excuse the awful photo. There is a huge window causing all that light disturbance just on the other side of the wall!

You’ll have to excuse the awful photo. There is a huge window causing all that light disturbance just on the other side of the wall!

Manufactured by the Cron-Kills Co., out of Piqua, Ohio, this secretary illustrates affordable, yet elegant, craftsmanship.

inside drawer

Built in the early 1900s (I’m guessing 1930s), this secretary combines Victorian splendor through the detailed claw feet, Art Nouveau undulations seen in the front, a Sheraton influenced arched pediment, along with the sleek lines of the Arts and Crafts movement.

claw feet

Unfortunately, the finial on the front does not go with this piece, and it’s unclear where the original may have disappeared.  It’s a slightly different color finish than the rest of the piece.  The finial, along with the detachable bookcase, was shoved in a closet at the owner’s house!

finial

The interior of the desk really caught my eye when we were at the estate sale.  All those little compartments!  There are even a few hidden ones!

compartments

Andrew J. Cron (1852-1905) started the Cron-Kills Company in Piqua Ohio after working for L.C. & W.L. Cron Furniture Company as a cabinet maker.  Cron passed away in 1905, leaving his partner, R.B. Kills, to carry out business. The Cron-Kills company was most known for their ladies slant-top writing desks, as well as their wardrobes.  The company went out of business around 1940.

 

Further Reading:

Hover, John Calvin and Joseph Daniel Barnes, ed. Memoirs of the Miami Valley, Volume 1.  Boston: Robert O. Law Company, 1920. Print.

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5 Comments

Filed under 1930s, Furniture

5 responses to “Cron-Kills Secretary

  1. Zed

    I love This type of furniture with all kinds of cubby holes,for your stuff. However, seems to have been replaced by the computer desk

  2. Tracy

    I recently inherited one of these from my father. I remember him owning it as far back as 1962 (I was two). I don’t recall his ever having the top book-case part. The inside pillars hiding the two stash spots are missing. But otherwise it is in great condition. When he owned it, it was black, but my step mom had it restored to a similar color shown here. I don’t know how old it is, Is there someplace on it where there might be a date? The CK monogram is inside the top drawer.

    • Hi Tracy! Your secretary sounds really neat. If it has a very similar sticker design related to the one in my parents, there’s a good chance it could be from the 1920s. There’s so few information out about the company itself, and much less about the logos. I’m also guessing it’s a ladies desk, since it doesn’t have the hutch/bookcase or the columned stash spots (my thoughts, at least, are that in the early 1900s books and columns=masculinity). There are very similar styles of the one pictured above, but coined as desks for the ladies in the company’s 1905-6 catalogue, which can be found here. There should also be a larger paper label on the back of the desk. There’s one on my mom’s, but when I was doing the research, I was too lazy to attempt to move it. It’s possible there’s a date on that label. Please do let me know if you find anything on the back of yours! I’d love to see a photo if you can manage it!

  3. Gorgeous details. Lovely choice. Hugs!

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