Gustav Stickley Oak Bookcase, ca. 1915
This belonged to my husband's grandparents from California. They built their house in the 1900s, and they filled it full of Stickley pieces, and my husband inherited this piece after they passed away.
It is indeed a great piece of Gustav Stickley. What's interesting about this piece is that it's a little bit later in Gustav Stickley's production. We know that several ways. One, on the back, there's a Gustav Stickley stamp. It's a branded mark. He changed his mark several times throughout the course of his career, and the mark that we have here is a later mark. Most often, in his earlier part of his career, Gustav Stickley used quartersawn oak. This is a straight-grained oak, not a quartersawn oak. The proportions of your bookcase are a little bit smaller than what they would be if this bookcase had been made ten years earlier. A lot of people, when they see this bookcase, might think that it had been refinished, but as Gustav Stickley's career progressed, the finishes got lighter and lighter and lighter, so this is indeed the absolute original finish that was put on here by Gustav Stickley. One interesting thing is, on the back of your bookcase...
...is the number 718, and what's really cool about that is, that's the catalogue number, and that was put on the day this piece left the Gustav Stickley factory. This piece was probably made 1914, 1915, somewhere in there. It has these great hand-hammered pulls on it, which just, immediately, you know it's Gustav Stickley. There's nothing wrong with this piece at all. It's absolutely beautiful. Now, what's interesting is, Gustav Stickley went out of business in about 1917, give or take a little bit, for several reasons. His brothers started another business-- L. & J.G. Stickley.
Oh, I remember reading about them.
He was a wonderful furniture maker, he was a great furniture designer, but he was a pretty poor businessman, to be honest with you. And this is probably towards the end of his production. Pretty early on, about 1970, people began to collect Gustav Stickley, so we've had 30, 35 years of people collecting it. So the market's very mature. At auction today, this bookcase probably would bring between $4,500 and $6,500.
Oh. I'm really surprised that as old as it is, you know, that it isn't a little more. We have a lot of antiques, but this, this is our pride and joy.
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