28 January, 2013
This lovely little desk was made by the Mervyn Macartney Factory for display during the London Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1983. Furniture from this time period doesn't always fascinate me but something about this desk was so quirky and different I had to know more. It's legs and overall shape speak to the beginning of the Art Nouveau movement which was just beginning at this time in France. It was crafted around 1891 and is made of mahogany and macassar ebony veneer with silver mounts and knobs. It can currently be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York City.
18 January, 2013
John Henry Belter was one of the most prolific furniture makers of the 19th century. He was important in the rococo revival movement durning this time and many of his pieces speak to this atribution. Today, a few of his works are currently in the collection of victorian furniture at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. During Belters career, he acquired many pattens for his furniture making skills. One of these pattens involved the technique of wood lamination in which he fused together different fragments of wood to create pieces sturdy enough to withstand his deep and heavy carvings. The partial parlor set owned by the MIA shows exceptional carvings with roses and other flowers in rosewood from sometime during the 1860's. Belters sofas from this time sold for an average price of $350, which was quite a bit of money. Unfortunately, these pieces are currently not on display but hopefully someday they will emerge from the museums storage and be on view to the public once again.
Images from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts