CU Boulder's 140-year-old desk might be worth more than your car

Posted at 1:24 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 15:43:43-05

BOULDER, Colo. — This desk is older than you might believe, and it could be yours — for a pretty penny. 

CU Boulder is auctioning off its antique Wooten Secretary Desk, which boasts an incredible number of nooks and crannies. 

Produced in roughly 1875, the desk went out of production about a decade later. Even in its day, it would have been a desk for the wealthy, or for successful businesses. According to some historical references, some of these desks are still in active use due to their beauty and functionality. 

But the CU Boulder possession doesn't just boast its usefulness. It potentially was owned by a 19th century Secretary of the Interior. Provenance can be traced back to Henry M. Teller, who was an early Colorado attorney who ascended to that powerful political office under President Chester Arthur. 

Teller is known for his self-named agreement that halted the annexation of Cuba following the Spanish-American War. 

After Teller's death, provenance says the desk turned over to Teller's Brother before it eventually became part the collection of Dr. F. A. "Gus" Garcia, a retired Navy officer and surgeon. 

Garcia was an alumnus of CU Boulder and enjoyed giving to charity. 

The desk has been in the collection of CU Boulder since the donation in 1981, and it's expected to command a serious price tag. 

Just last year, the desk was appraised at $7,500 by appraiser Jack Wartell, who described the desk as in "sound" condition. 

Already, one bidder has staked $4,000 to claim the desk on the auction site, where the auction will close late Thursday. 

Proceeds from the auction will be returned to CU Boulder. 


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