Buffet (no. 955)



Buffet (no. 955)


United Crafts


1902-03 (ca.)

Object No.


Credit line

Gift of Gregg and Monique Seibert


In mid-1901 and 1902, Stickley designed a small group of furniture that featured the distinctive plate rack, through tenons, and sides made of chamfered boards seen on this buffet. The earliest documented example of this aesthetic is evident in the Library Table Desk which Stickley sought to protect with a patent in July 1901 (fig. 2) . This buffet, which was featured in the 1902 Retail Plates and first published in the July 1902 issue of The Craftsman, shares these same features. Curiously, although the use of wooden knobs in Stickley’s furniture is typically associated with earlier productions, none of the examples sold at auction in the past decade have metal hardware. This raises the possibility that this detail was intrinsic to some models and produced through 1904.

Surviving in a remarkable state of preservation, the exterior of this buffet has faded to a mellow green-brown as a result of the dyes degrading with continued exposure to ultraviolet light. While traces of the original green finish are enough to cause a quickening of the pulse in many of the period’s collectors and fans, others who see this buffet will be struck by a different question: “That’s the green finish?” Yet, the sides of the drawer, protected for over a century from the ravages of sunlight, reveal a vibrant green that it almost garish to our contemporary sensibilities (fig. 3). This rare glimpse at the original green reminds us that the furnishings of the period were not always dark and brown. Indeed, the colors used could be bright enough to enliven the spaces into which they were placed.

Notes: The desk that is illustrated above was granted a patent on September 3, 1901. See: Design Patent No. 35,044.

Associated names

Gustav Stickley