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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/J.F. Dietz Co. roll top desk


makers mark
makers mark  
I am a locksmith in Flagstaff, Arizona and I recently made keys to a roll top desk for a customer and in doing so I found a medallion type makers mark mounted to the inside of one of the drawers; It reads:   J.F. Dietz Co. Cincinnati,Ohio 6636R
I was just curious about the origin of this desk and was hoping you could help me discover the age, model name and possible value. I don't have pictures at the time I am writing this but I can supply them if you need them.

Dietz Bill
Dietz Bill  
ANSWER: I would need to see a picture of the desk to help and a picture of the dovetails in one of the drawers.  Thanks.

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Roll top
Roll top  

QUESTION: Robert ,
Here are two pictures of the Deitz roll top .
I hope they're adequate.
Thanks again for your time.

Nice quartersawn grain oak veneers!

As to a model, we will never know without seeing this desk in a Dietz catalog and I have not found one digitized online.  

As a rule c rolls do or did not bring the prices of an s roll desk but that has changed a bit.  now folks and collectors are not passing on c roll desks as they once did.  Yours  is a good one but I cannot tell the condition from the photos.  

The interior, cubbyholes behind the curtain, make a difference.  Ones with full interiors (holes filled with drawers) bring more and again, the condition is very important.

if the condition is very good other than normal wear and the interior is full then the desk would have a retail value around $1000.

The dovetails shown are not what we generally consider hand cut.  however, they are not standard issue which makes me think this:  I have encountered fat hand cut like these AND machine cut like these.  The conundrum stems from my theory that some companies did not readily graduate from old hand cut to machine made but in order for their pieces to look more 'modern' at the time, hand cut the machine dovetail look, but did not yet have the machinery.  the only way to tell is to knock a side off the drawer and see if there is a pocket in the drawer front beyond where the dovetail itself fits.  If so then the female part of the dovetail or pocket would have been cut with a spinning tool like a router or spindle cutter.  if it is a tight flat cut on all mating surfaces then it was cut by hand with saw and chisel.

thanks and hope this helps a bit

Date around 1900 and probably sold under name of a bankers desk or executive desk

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robert klein


In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.


I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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