Stickley Brothers & Company is one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the United States, and also one of the most influential. Founded in Binghamton, New York over 120 years ago, this company revolutionized the Arts & Craft style of furniture. Our Parsippany DUI lawyers recently took a tour of the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in Parsippany and would like to share some of our favorite pieces from our tour.
Crafted in the year 1900, the museum’s chalet table was manufactured by Gustav Stickley in the early days of his change to Arts & Crafts furniture. The table is simple in its design, with a geometrically linear and proportional style. This is one of the earlier examples of Stickley’s groundbreaking Craftsman furniture. It strayed away from the popular ornate style of the Victorian era and was dubbed by Stickley as “honest furniture” with a lack of unnecessary adornment. This piece ended up being a major influencer on the minimalist modernism movement which would gain steam later in the 20th century. You can find the chalet table in The Craftsman Way of Life section of the museum.
The Prairie settle was designed by Peter Hansen in 1914 and is one of the most influential pieces of American furniture design to come from the Stickley company. The settle is constructed with wide arms and paneled quartersawn oak, which creates a striking horizontal plane. This type of design was made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright, but the Prairie Settle’s elongated corbel brackets and balanced proportion is specifically characteristic of Stickley. Barbara Streisand owned this piece in the 1990s before it was purchased by L & JG Stickley. You can find this and other pieces formerly owned by Streisand in the museum’s Today’s Stickley Furniture section.
Drop Front Desk
The museum’s drop front desk was one of the main pieces of Gustav Stickley’s Craftsman Workshop. It was designed by Harvey Ellis and built in 1903-1904. It’s made of oak with copper hardware. The center panel of the desk can be lowered and used as a writing desk.
Designer Harvey Ellis was trained as an architect and used these skills to design this simple but beautifully functional piece of furniture. The desk features copper and pewter inlays and avodire marquetry. You can find this piece in The Craftsman Way of Life section.
Columbus Avenue Sideboard
The Columbus Avenue Sideboard is one of the most iconic pieces of American Arts & Craft furniture. The original piece was created specifically for Gustav Stickley’s private home, and for years it was the centerpiece of Stickley’s first-floor dining room. The family auctioned the sideboard in 1988 and it fetched $363,000 – the highest selling price ever for one piece of 20th-century furniture. Barbara Streisand bought the piece. The sideboard found in the museum is a 1990 re-issue of the original piece and can be found in the Today’s Stickley Furniture section.
Sideboard With Cupboard
Crafted in 1965, the museum’s sideboard with cupboard is part of the Cherry Valley Collection. It’s a quintessential example of the popular colonial revival craftsmanship of that period. It’s also known as the Welsh Cupboard and features include Queen Anne-inspired cabriole legs, a tall cupboard with scalloped trimming, and brass bat’s wing hardware. You can find it in the museum’s A Doorway into the Past section.