Furnishings in the Girls' Bedroom


Inlaid chest of drawers

Dimensions: 36" W x 51" H x 18 1/2" D
Materials: Oak with inlays of copper and tinted woods
Inlays: Made by the firm of George H. Jones, New York City
Date: Ca. 1910 - 11
Mark: "Gustav Stickley" red joiner’s compass decal
Designer: Unknown
Anonymous gift to The Craftsman Farms Foundation.


On first glance, this chest of drawers is reminiscent of the familiar nine-drawer #913 Craftsman chest of drawers designed by LaMont Warner and manufactured by Stickley from 1905 through about 1912. The overall dimensions and the drawer arrangement of the #913 are closely echoed in the chests of drawers that Stickley had made for his daughters’ bedroom at Craftsman Farms.

 Yet this Craftsman Farms chest is really very different from the production model offered in Stickley’s catalogs. Forgoing the fluid curves of the #913, this chest has an almost Shaker-like austerity: viewed head-on, it seems to have a straight-lined trapezoidal shape. In fact the sides are very subtly bowed: directly beneath the 36" wide top the case is 30 1/4" wide; just above the bottom drawer the case expands to 31 3/4"; and at the base of its legs it narrows ever so slightly to 31 1/2." The apron – the plank beneath the bottom drawer – is a segmental arch on the standard #913 chest, but on this cabinet it runs in a straight, horizontal line and ends in abrupt, rounded arches attached to both front legs.

The colors of this chest are also carefully worked out aspects of its design. Though made of Stickley’s usual quarter-sawn oak, the wood is neither brown nor green-brown but is instead finished with an understated gray wash matching the gray grass-cloth on the walls. The chest is further ornamented with copper and tinted wood inlays on a turquoise blue ground, enlivening the surface, setting off the plain round wooden knobs, and matching the color of the Grueby tiles in this bedroom’s tall, copper-hooded fireplace.

As in Stickley’s time, there are now two of these chests of drawers in the girls’ bedroom. One is original and the other a replica made in 2003 by Steve and Mary Ann Voorhees.

Inlaid bedDimensions: 57 1/2" W x 38 1/2" H (headboard) x 79" D

Materials: Oak with inlays of copper and tinted woods
Inlays: Made by the firm of George H. Jones, New York City
Date: Ca. 1910 - 1911
Mark: Red joiner's compass with Gustav Stickley signature, on inside of headboard.
Designer: Unknown
Anonymous gift to The Craftsman Farms Foundation.

The two beds made for the girls’ bedroom are chiefly important – from a design standpoint – as essential parts of this room’s decorative ensemble. Like the chests of drawers, they are made of oak washed with gray tones and their head- and foot- boards are inlaid with the same copper motifs set in turquoise blue grounds.

And as further evidence of the great care with which this furniture was designed, the elevated, shaped "lift" motif of the head- and foot- boards is the "solid" that echoes the "void" formed by the sawn-out aprons at the bottoms of the chests of drawers. The Craftsman magazine had been advocating unified, harmoniously colored interior design since 1902 and creating it with great assurance since Harvey Ellis’s brief tenure in 1903. Throughout the log house at Craftsman Farms – and particularly in the girls’ bedroom - Stickley’s designers faithfully followed those precepts.

As in Stickley’s time, there are now two of these inlaid beds in the girls’ bedroom. One is original and the other a replica made in 2003 by Steve and Mary Ann Voorhees.

 



 

 

 

 

 

Inlaid piano


The first inlaid piano design by Stickley was in his Syracuse Columbus Avenue house, and when the family left Syracuse to move to New Jersey, it went into the girls' bedroom at Craftsman Farms. This piano has eighty-five keys and two pedals, and its work are by Carl Rhönisch, a German firm that also manufactured works for pianos designed by M. H. Baillie Scott. The piano was inherited by his second daughter, Mildred, and remains with her descendants, therefore a replica of that piano case, made in 2003 by Mitchell Andrus, has been placed in the room. Another inlaid piano of a different design was in the Living Room of the Log House.

 

December 19, 2014

 

 

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