We’re back in the master bedroom for this week’s featured piece.
#632 Dressing Table
Dimensions: 54″ W x 57″ H x 22″ D
Materials: Oak with brass hardware
Date: Ca. 1902 – 1903
Mark: Red joiner’s compass with Stickley in rectangle, on the back.
Designer: Attributed to LaMont Warner
Anonymous gift to The Craftsman Farms Foundation.
Stickley first cataloged bedroom furniture in early 1901, but it was not until the middle of 1902 that his firm produced a bedroom piece specifically intended to be used by a woman – a dressing table of this design. His furniture – especially the furniture made in 1902 – is often thought of as “masculine,” though this dressing table shows the firm attempting to enter the realm of the “feminine.” In that sense it may not be completely successful. The applied pewter, iron, or copper candlesticks bracketing the mirror in the cataloged versions are an attractive decorative touch, but the boxy case is essentially an elongated reworking of a “genderless” Stickley writing table made the same year.
This dressing table, however, is important as an example of Stickley’s evident intent that year to expand his product line. With the introduction of this dressing table, the firm’s customers could now buy a complete bedroom suite of Stickley furniture. This included a bedstead; night table (cataloged as a “somno”); wardrobe; man’s chest of drawers; woman’s chest of drawers; cheval mirror; wash stand; and, by mid-1902, a dressing table for the woman of the house. The decision to extend his line of products is perhaps best understood as a business decision meant to increase sales. But it was equally an aesthetic choice. In 1902, Stickley and his designers began to work toward the visually unified Craftsman interiors that would blossom under the pencil of Harvey Ellis when he arrived in the Craftsman Workshops design studio the following year.
You can see other featured pieces from past weeks or come see us in person!