Furnishings in the Master Bedroom

 
#614 Chest of Drawers
Dimensions: 45" W x 61 1/4" H x 21 1/2" D
Materials: Oak with copper hardware
Date: Ca. 1902 - 1903
Mark: Red joiner’s compass decal with "Stickley" in rectangle
Design: Attributed to LaMont Warner
Anonymous gift to The Craftsman Farms Foundation. 

Stickley’s firm first offered a bedroom chest with frame-and-panel cabinet doors over stacked drawers in the catalog "Things Wrought by the United Crafts," issued in January 1902. Though its design varied from the design of the chest of drawers now in the log house master bedroom, its dimensions were the same, it was cataloged as a #614 chest of drawers, and it too was offered with wrought iron or copper hardware. It was made with "Red Scented Cedar Drawer Bottoms," a feature both pleasant and functional. Its $70.00 price tag made it one of the most expensive items offered in that early catalog.  

Later in 1902 Stickley issued a set of "retail plates" which included a photograph of the #614 chest that had evolved from the earlier version. This second and final iteration did not have cedar-bottomed drawers, but its cabinets – perfect for storing top hats – were lined with that wood. It was given a projecting, bevel-edged cornice that emphatically capped the vertical case and cast shadows across the wooden surface as light conditions changed. The beauty of this rectilinear cabinet was further enhanced by its rich, brown-toned quarter sawn oak planks and by the light-catching pyramidal wood screws that fasten the hammered copper hardware to the drawer and door fronts. The #614 chest of drawers at Craftsman Farms has great presence. It is a large-scale, dramatically proportioned piece of furniture with the characteristic mass and rectilinearity of Stickley’s 1902 furniture production, the year his designers were working at their peak.  

#632 Dressing Table
Dimensions: 54" W x 57" H x 22" D
Materials: Oak with brass hardware
Date: Ca. 1902 - 1903
Mark: Red joiner's compass with Stickley in rectangle, on the back.
Designer: Attributed to LaMont Warner
Anonymous gift to The Craftsman Farms Foundation. 

Stickley first cataloged bedroom furniture in early 1901, but it was not until the middle of 1902 that his firm produced a bedroom piece specifically intended to be used by a woman – a dressing table of this design. His furniture – especially the furniture made in 1902 – is often thought of as "masculine," though this dressing table shows the firm attempting to enter the realm of the "feminine." In that sense it may not be completely successful. The applied pewter, iron, or copper candlesticks bracketing the mirror in the cataloged versions are an attractive decorative touch, but the boxy case is essentially an elongated reworking of a "genderless" Stickley writing table made the same year.  

This dressing table, however, is important as an example of Stickley’s evident intent that year to expand his product line. With the introduction of this dressing table, the firm’s customers could now buy a complete bedroom suite of Stickley furniture. This included a bedstead; night table (cataloged as a "somno"); wardrobe; man’s chest of drawers; woman’s chest of drawers; cheval mirror; wash stand; and, by mid-1902, a dressing table for the woman of the house. The decision to extend his line of products is perhaps best understood as a business decision meant to increase sales. But it was equally an aesthetic choice. In 1902, Stickley and his designers began to work toward the visually unified Craftsman interiors that would blossom under the pencil of Harvey Ellis when he arrived in the Craftsman Workshops design studio the following year. 

 

July 22, 2014

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