Stickley, Gustav – American Arts & Crafts designer – New York

Gustav Stickley (1858-1942)

Gustav Stickley is credited with creating the first distinctly American style of furniture known as Craftsman. He was born on March 9, 1858 in Osceola, Wisconsin to German immigrant parents. As the eldest of six children he went to work as a stonemason at the age of twelve when his father deserted the family in 1870. In 1875, Gustav (originally spelled with an “e”), Charles, and Albert Stickley learned basic furniture [...] Click here to continue reading.

Van der Rohe, Ludwig Mies – German/American Furniture Designer & Architect

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969)

Born in 1886 in Aachen, Germany, van der Rohe’s original name was Maria Ludwig Michael Mies. He began his working life toiling as a stone carver in his father’s business, but by 1908 was an apprentice in the design studio of Peter Behrens. There, he worked with the likes of Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, pioneers of modern architecture who were seeking a non-derivative style that was pure [...] Click here to continue reading.

Yellin, Samuel – American Metalworker

Samuel Yellin, Artist in Metalwork

Yellin as born in 1885 in Mogilera, Galacia, Poland. He was enrolled in a specialized school for arts and crafts as a child. There he was recognized for his drawing ability and interest in iron work. Family and teachers got him an apprenticeship to a local Russian blacksmith. Yellin became a mastersmith at the age of seventeen. In 1902 he left home and is believed to have traveled to [...] Click here to continue reading.

Weathervanes – History

The History and Manufacture of Weathervanes

Collectors of Americana classify weathervanes as “folk sculpture”, but to the original purchasers, they were meteorological tools that predicted wind direction, and thus a change in the weather. Handmade in the 17th and 18th centuries in America, by the mid-19th century, weathervanes were being factory-produced in large numbers. Both the earlier and later examples are highly collectable, and are sought after for their quirky vitality. Value depends less [...] Click here to continue reading.

Strickland, William John – American Architect & Artist

William Strickland (American, 1788 to 1854)

William Strickland’s career as an architect, engineer and artist spanned 45 years. The son of a master carpenter, Strickland was apprenticed at the age of 15 to Benjamin Henry Latrobe, America’s first professionally trained architect. In 1818, Strickland won the competition for the Second Bank Building with a design based on the Pantheon. The bank is considered a seminal work in Neoclassicism and Greek Revival in the United [...] Click here to continue reading.

Urban, Joseph – Austrian/American Architect, Designer & Illustrator

Joseph Urban, Architect & Designer

Courtesy of Sotheby’s (excerpted from wikipedia).

Joseph Urban (1872 to 1933), born in Vienna, Austria died in New York, New York, trained as an architect, known also for his theatrical design and his early illustrations of children’s books. Urban’s early work with illustrated books arose from his collaboration with his brother-in-law, Heinrich Lefler (1863 to 1919) and the pair contributed to what are considered seminal works in children’s [...] Click here to continue reading.

LaFarge, John – American artist & stained glass maker

John LaFarge (American, 1835 to 1910)

La Farge moved from New York to Newport in the spring of 1859 to study painting with William Morris Hunt. He nonetheless frequently visited Glen Cove, Long Island, where his family had a large summer property that had been purchased by his father sometime before 1835. The impressive Glen Cove estate, extending over some fifty acres, could be accessed directly by boat from both Hempstead Harbor and Glen [...] Click here to continue reading.

Tucker, Allen – American artist & architect

Allen Tucker (1866-1939)

Allen Tucker was born in Brooklyn in 1866 and worked as both an architect and a painter, eventually painting full time by 1904. He was known to have been heavily influenced by Vincent Van Gogh, prompting his contemporaries to refer to him as “Vincent in America”. His style evolved to encompass several modernist movements, and he was an influential figure in bringing abstract art to America.

Tucker was a member of [...] Click here to continue reading.

Machmer, Richard & Rosemarie — Provenance Pook 10-24-08

Richard & Rosemarie Machmer Provenance

The following remembrances were publishing the Pook and Pook auction catalogue for this sale, held on October 24 and 25, 2008. For coverage of this sale, please see the account in Maine Antique Digest, published in January of 2009, available at

About thirty-five years ago, I traveled around two hours to an evening country auction in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. As I walked into the auction house, facing me was [...] Click here to continue reading.

Hamburg Rooster Weathervane

Hamburg Rooster Weathervane

Period examples of this weathervane are most commonly attributed to the L. W. Cushing & Sons company of Waltham, Massachusetts. The firm was in business from 1872 to 1933; it is sometimes referred to by one of its other business names, Cushing & White.

The Hamburg rooster appeared in Cushing’s 1883, No. 9 catalogue on page 14.

Reference note by p4A editorial staff

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