Gustav Stickley Rocker, ca. 1905
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $5,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:45)
Senior Vice President & Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts
GUEST: I inherited this rocker. Um, I am the third owner of it.
GUEST: Uh, the first owner was a lady that bought it from the man that made it, and she has a set... had a set of this furniture, and then, when she got elderly...
GUEST: ...she sold it or gave it to my auntie, and when my auntie was elderly, she wanted to make sure I got it...
APPRAISER: That's a very nice relative, you know? (laughs)
GUEST: Yes, yes. Thank you.
APPRAISER: Okay. I think I have an idea how old it is.
APPRAISER: How old do you think it is?
GUEST: I think it, um... Probably 1906, 1907, something in that area.
GUEST: It's mission furniture, I know that.
APPRAISER: Okay. Well, what you've brought is exactly that. You brought in a piece of mission style furniture, which is part of the Arts and Crafts movement.
APPRAISER: In America we know it as the mission style. And really this style of furniture was really, uh... really, the philosophy or the style of the movement started in England in the mid-19th century. And a lot of Americans went over there and got influenced by this Arts and Crafts style. It really was a reaction against the industrialization of the furniture-making world. So we see this very simple, elegant style. We also see signs of hand-craftsmanship. We see the signs of these pegs. See how prominent those are?
APPRAISER: Now, in America, some of the most famous makers of Arts and Crafts style furniture were the Stickley Brothers.
APPRAISER: And they worked up near Syracuse, in New York, and the Stickleys' furniture is really coveted by collectors today, especially when it's documented. Now, in 1903, Gustav Stickley hired a man named Harvey Ellis. Now, Harvey Ellis was a vagrant genius. He was a poet, an architect, a designer. He worked for only seven months for Stickley, and he influenced the furniture that was made in the Stickley factory. He died after seven months. But his influence he brought back from England is what we see here. A more lighter and elegant and less heavy style. See these blossoms which are inlaid with pewter and copper and fruitwood? Beautifully inlaid. Meticulous quality, which lightens up this... this Arts and Crafts functional form. This is another thing that he introduced-- this arched apron. Very much taken from the British. So that's the style of it. One of the really unusual things about this chair is it's made of tiger maple. I love that. I'm really a wood guy. What else do you know about it? What would you like to know?
GUEST: Well, actually, I was taking it out of the car this morning, and I didn't even know the seat come out, and the seat fell out. I had looked at the label here.
APPRAISER: Okay, let's take a look. And it's getting kind of faded now.
APPRAISER: Let's take a look at that label. There it is. A paper label.
APPRAISER: You see right there? Gustav Stickley.
APPRAISER: And there's this little medieval joiner's compass right there. And there is the inscription: "Als ich kann," and that means: "The best that I can do." And this is a philosophy of the Arts and Crafts movement. To do the best you can possibly do. It's not the... it's not all for the end result. It's about knowing you did your best. Well, it has that label-- the interesting thing-- which is a great document, so that we know it's made about 1905 or 1906. After Harvey Ellis died, his influence was still there. What I love is this... Look at that seat. What do you think?
GUEST: It looks like the original.
APPRAISER: Original? You're right. I think that's the original seat. It's got a nice old finish. You've got this inlay, which is beautiful. Have you had this appraised at all?
APPRAISER: Okay. I'd put a range on this of $3,000 to $5,000. As an auction estimate. And that's what we all feel, after putting our heads together.
GUEST: Okay. Well, good.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a beautiful piece.
GUEST: $3,000 to $5,000.
APPRAISER: $3,000 to $5,000. I like the pegs in it. Isn't that nice? It shows the hand-craftsmanship. It tells you it's old.
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