by Cheryl Duncan, designer at Wheeler’s Furniture
A true visionary, Gustav Stickley looked to the future in 1901 and said,
“In 50 or 100 years, good oak furniture will be worth many times its first cost. For the time is coming when it will be valuable on account of its permanent worth and it’s scarcity”.
When I study the fascinating history of Stickley Furniture, the company Gustav founded in the early 1900’s, what stands out most is the emphasis on quality. Take, for example, the sideboard below:
This beautifully proportioned sideboard made of quarter sawn oak, with it’s graceful arched rail, exemplifies beautiful craftsmanship. With pinned mortise and tenon joints where the body of the piece connects to the legs, this piece is built to last a lifetime. Stickley quality, which Gustav insisted upon, is displayed in drawers that are side hung and feature center guides. Because of the width of the bottom drawer, it has been twice under guided, enabling this drawer to be closed with ease simply by pushing on one corner of the drawer.
This sideboard was made originally for Gustav’s own Columbia Avenue home in Syracuse, New York in 1904. On December 10, 1988 it was sold for a record price of $363,000. Then in 1999, the same piece commanded $596,900! Gustav’s prediction of the value of good oak furniture came true! Today, Stickley continues to focus on quality as it produces furniture to last generations.
Stickley Furniture is American Craftsmanship at it’s finest!
More to come…
(For more on the history of Stickey Furniture, see Cheryl’s Intro to Stickley post here.)