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Deintje, J. A. (1874-1900)

Deintje, Julius Adolphe

London; cabinet maker, art furniture maker and merchant (fl.1874-1900)

Born in Grott Frieden, Germany in 1844, Deintje later stated that he had produced 'piece' work for Howard & Sons in London c. 1874.  In 1879 he was taken to court by two employees, Henry & Arthur Bryant, who claimed he had not paid their wages; it transpired that the claimants had stolen goods from Deintje and the case was dropped. 

Copyright (Attribution/Credit)
The Furniture Gazette
The Furniture Gazette, 1 July 1882 

His workshops were called the Fitzroy Cabinet Works, at 10-12 Charlotte Mews, Tottenham Street and he was producing cabinet work on a wholesale basis from, if not before, 1881. In 1881 & 1882 he participated in the major Furniture Exhibitions in Islington. The Furniture Gazette praised his work as being ‘of a pleasing form, and in style [which] accords with one of prevailing furniture fashions’; 'an exceedingly well designed chimneypiece and artistic marquetry overmantel' illus. [The Furniture Gazette, 19 November 1881; 25 March & 13 May 1882). ]. From 1882 until mid 1890s he advertised ‘Early English, Chippendale & Artistic Furniture’ in the same publication. In other advertisements he claimed that he used no deal or soft woods veneered to look like solid work. 

The Furniture Gazette, 23 December 1882, reported a fire broke out at his Charlotte Mews premises a few days before. It had originated on the two upper floors, used as workshops. They were completely burnt out and the ground floor and contents seriously damaged. This was covered by insurance from North British & Mercantile offices. 

The next upset in his business is evidenced by advertisements placed in 1885. These announced that he was offering to the public high quality dining room, drawing room and bedroom furniture; a stock which had ‘been left on hand following changes at the oldest established and largest high-class Oxford Street Furnishing Warehouse (for whom he had producing for a number of years) at large reductions from the wholesale prices for earlier clearance’.  

The Furniture Gazette, 1 May 1885 gave Deintje’s address as 9 & 10 Charlotte Mews. He was then listed at Chenies Mews, Chenies Street as a cabinet maker, art furniture maker and merchant in The Furniture Gazette: Classified List of the Furniture, Upholstery, and Allied Trades (1886). Another fire, not so badly, affected these new workshops in April 1887.  

Deintje appeared as a witness before the Lords Select Committee Hearing on Sweating Systems in 1888. In his testimony he stated that in recent years his own workshop which had produced furniture for Maples; bills to this effect were shown. He mentioned the latter firm's practices of making deductions for poor workmanship and also of copying his own designs but stated these were common procedures in the trade. He did however confirm that makers had been banned from visiting Maples showrooms and when he had gone Robert Blundell Maple had ordered him out. After testimony to the Hearing from representatives of Maples, Deintje was recalled and changed his statement, possibly according to the press, as a result of intimidation.  

An interesting anacedote was that later in 1888 he donated 3 marmoset monkeys from Brazil to the zoo in Regents Park.  The 1891 London Post Office Trade Directory still recorded him at 65 Chenies Mews but in the mid 1890s he appears to have stopped making and started simply dealing in furniture. In 1898 he was convicted of fraud; having obtained furniture to the value of £75.5s. from Carlhian & Beaumetz whilst bankrupt. He was sentenced to 1 month’s imprisonment. The difficulties of the furniture trade had obviously affected him and in 1903 he travelled to Cape Africa, and it was there he died in 1934. He had 2 sons, Gustav & Adolphe, both of whom were later employed in the London furniture trade.