The Museum continuously acquires unique items of various sizes, from a tiny, ancient fossil to a giant, colossal grist stone. The subject of this article is no different in its uniqueness.
On January 17, 2016, we officially acquired a very unique furniture item – a desk that had been made from the case of an antique piano. This square grand piano converted into a desk had been used in the real estate office of Raymond Haff from 1975-1990 as Mr. Haff’s main desk at his 101 Park Ave., downtown Amherst office. It had been acquired by Mr. Haff at an auction in South Amherst. After the real estate office closed in 1990 due to Mr. Haff’s retirement, the desk found a new home at the Haff residence, also in Amherst.
The Museum was given the opportunity to acquire this extremely different item just a few weeks ago. We soon made arrangements as we could not pass up this piece of art and history. The acquisition became a reality, thanks to the generous financial donation to secure the item by Ms. Cindy Kohart, a friend of the Museum. The famous Haff desk, made out of an antique piano case, was moved to the New Indian Ridge Museum, January 17th. We thank Mark Haff (son of Mr. Raymond Haff), and his mother, Mrs. Ruth Haff (wife of the late Mr. Raymond Haff) for offering the opportunity to acquire this interesting piece of art and history, to the Museum. A special thank you to Museum Board Member Bill Nahorn for helping to move the item and to engineer the move. Finally, thank you to local photographer Jason Shaffer, also a friend of the Museum, for his crucial aid in moving the desk into the Museum, down a set of very steep steps. Wow, what a great team!
When viewing photos of the desk, we direct you to the closed view, below, showing inlaid wooden lettering and stars on the top. Further research into the history of the desk, its manufacturer, and the significance of these inlays is forthcoming. The resulting research will be posted in an updated version of this article.
Below, in the process of moving the desk