Endnotes: Boston needlework

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

We were prepared to pay considerably more, so were happily surprised,” says American needlework dealer Carol Huber about her successful bid on this charming Boston canvas-work picture, offered at the first auction of American furniture and decorative arts held by Bonhams in New York in mid-January. When she saw it in the catalogue, she thought the presale estimate of $6,000 …

Wedgwood in the nineteenth century

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

March 2009 | The Wedgwood ceramics manufactory, which celebrates its 250th anniversary this year and is one of the oldest potteries functioning today, has been the subject of numerous monographs, exhibition catalogues, journal articles, and even a novel.1 Yet most of these publications have dealt with the life of, or period of production dating to the lifetime of, company founder …

Red, white, and Tiffany blue

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts, Magazine

The ambitious transformation of the White House by Jacqueline Kennedy (1929–1994), which began in 1961—from a hotel-like assemblage of department store reproductions to a living museum of fine American antiques—was so greatly admired that many people believed those interiors would be thenceforth immutable. But nothing at the White House is forever, as that first lady came to realize about her …

Harbor & Home

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

March 2009 | In October 1955 the Boston Herald decried the sale of heirlooms from a late seventeenth-century house in Duxbury, Massachusetts, that had descended in the family of John (1599–1687) and Priscilla Alden, the Pilgrim lovers immortalized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) in his 1858 epic poem The Courtship of Miles Standish.1Promoted by Longfellow and other Gilded Age writers …

American studio ceramics at mid century

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

March 2009 | Mourning the loss of aesthetic purity in the modern age, Susan Sontag once wrote that “[I]n a world that is well on its way to becoming one vast quarry, the collector becomes someone engaged in a pious work of salvage.”1 There are countless reasons why people become collectors. Doubtless there are many reasons that Philip E. Aarons, …

Preview of the Winterthur Ceramics Conference

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

For everyone who won’t be able to attend this year’s Winterthur ceramics conference, Coming to America: Imported Ceramics & the Wares They Inspired, here is a peek oat the works that will be featured-from Presidential porcelain to Staffordshire and saltglaze. Celebrating 300 years of earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain in America, the conference, which combines lectures and workshops, will be held …

Eileen Gray Designs Poised to Set Auction Records

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

While the most iconic designs by Eileen Gray (1878-1976) are those that have been reproduced for decades—the black lacquer brick screen in MoMA’s collection or the circular chrome side table presently offered by Design Within Reach—the idiosyncratic architect and designer was also responsible for other unique and visionary examples of modernist design. Today, as part of the sale of the …

Edward F. Caldwell and Company’s Legacy of Lighting

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

Although the name of Edward F. Caldwell may be unfamiliar to some, the lighting fixtures made by his eponymous firm grace some of the best known public and private architectural commissions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States. Caldwell and his partner, Victor F. von Lossberg, a Russian artist he met while working at Archer …

Dealer Profile: Peter Pap

Furniture & Decorative Arts

At Peter Pap’s booth at the Greenwich Antiques Show in Connecticut, a woman is examining an enormous Mahal carpet with an unusual green ground that has been attracting passersby all morning. Looking down, the woman asks, “How much is it?” Pap replies, with a courtly nod, “fifty-four thousand dollars.”   Peter Pap is recognizable to followers of Antiques Roadshow as …

Stickley in Dallas

Editorial Staff Furniture & Decorative Arts

Gustav Stickley is well-known for his American arts and crafts furniture, characterized by its sturdy and utilitarian appearance. While he promoted the idea of handcrafted furniture, as a businessman, mindful of cost, he took full advantage of the available technology of the time. His emphasis on structure with simple, or better yet, no applied decoration, however, put him in the …