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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Empire slant front desk with bookcase


Desk with bookcase
Desk with bookcase  

Drawer with stripes
Drawer with stripes  
Hi I purchased an empire slant front desk with a bookcase. I am pretty sure the bookcase does not originally go with the desk as they are different styles but the wood it the same. The piece was already stripped of its finish and needs some work. My question is about a design on the drawer front that I have never seen. The drawers have horizontal stripes of wood on the top edge. I think the desk itself is fairly old but since I have never seen this drawer design I may be completely wrong . Can you tell me what kind of design this is and anything about the desk? The bookcase looks to be of a different time period and all empire cases I found have square fronts. Also, the finish is removed but if the desk has any value i don't want to further damage it. There is no name on it but there is a paper label glued to the back but no writing is visible anymore. Do you have any advice on keeping them together?


Valerie - The design of your bookcase secretary is a combination of several styles including Empire (the cyma curved front stanchions), Federal (the curved striped drawer front) and Queen Anne (the broken pediment crown). This all fits very nicely with the "Heinz 57" styles of the Depression era when styles were randomly combined. The machine made drawer joinery confirms the piece is 20th century factory made and has no antique value.

I would finish the parts to match. They may actually go together. Interesting piece.

Thanks for writing.

Fred Taylor

Collectibles-General (Antiques)

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Fred Taylor


I will attempt to answer questions about American antique furniture, including construction details, style, period, manufacturers, care, repair and storage. I do not have any background in appliances, musical instruments, sewing machines, trunks, lighting, clocks or children's and baby furniture and will not respond to questions about those items.


I ran an antique furniture restoration business for twenty years. I am a nationally syndicated columnist on the subject of antique furniture for such publications as Antique Week and New England Antiques Journal. I have produced one video on the subject of furniture identification and my book "HOW TO BE A FURNITURE DETECTIVE" is now available.I have also published articles in Antique Trader, Chicago Art Deco Society, Northeast Magazine, Victorian Decorating and Lifestyles, Professional Refinishing, Antiques and Art Around Florida and Antique Shoppe. You can visit my website at

BSBA Finance, University of Florida, MBA Finance, University of Florida

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