Early L. & J. G. Stickley Furniture: From Onondaga Shops to Handcraft
In 1902, four years after Gustav Stickley began building furniture in his United Crafts Workshops in Eastwood, New York, his brother Leopold established his own Arts and Crafts furniture business a few miles away in Fayetteville, a suburb of Syracuse, to which he soon recruited his brother J. George. They initially used the trademark "Onondaga Shops," for the county in which it was located; by 1910 they were labeling their furniture "Handcraft."
Like their brother Gustav's designs, those of L. and J. G. Stickley include many first-rate examples of American Arts and Crafts style. This unique volume provides a comprehensive look at their early achievement, combining reprints of extremely rare copies of two sets of promotional literature from approximately 1906-09 and 1909.
The first is a handbound salesman's catalog, circa 1906-09, presenting 129 wash drawings and eight photographs of Onondaga Shops furniture. The second consists of 110 drawings of Handcraft furniture reproduced from a very rare set of loose plates, circa 1909. The designs depicted range from a leather-topped library table, an office swivel chair, and a canvas-covered Morris chair to a leather-upholstered settle, a writing desk with hand-wrought copper pulls, a mirrored sideboard, a line of spindle furniture never before reprinted, and numerous other pieces almost entirely unknown today. A preface by Robert L. Zarrow and a historical introduction by Donald A. Davidoff shed light on neglected aspects of the work of this important and still-thriving firm. Scholars, designers, and enthusiasts of home furnishings and the decorative arts will find in these pages a rare record of a memorable chapter in the history of American furniture design.
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