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.

Lipton, William

William Lipton: Dealer, Scholar, Collector

William Lipton’s first journey to Asia occurred in the early 1970′s. He was immediately seduced by the culture of the East, and arranged for a return the following year with Jim Thompson at the Thai Silk Company, where he remained for six years, ultimately as the director of design. During this period he traveled extensively throughout Asia, often accompanied and advised by the Hong Kong dealer Charlotte Horstmann.

“I [...] Click here to continue reading.

Collection of Earle and Yvonne Henderson, Charming Forge Mansion, Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania

Collection of Earle and Yvonne Henderson, Charming Forge Mansion, Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania


Charming Forge Mansion, located in Berks County, Pennsylvania, is nestled atop a hill overlooking a site that once buzzed with industrial activity and the clanking of a forge hammer. The forge is closed now and many of the buildings are gone but the mansion still looks out over the Tulpehocken Creek that once powered this magnificent [...] Click here to continue reading.

Fylfot Decorative Motifs

Fylfot Decorative Motifs

Fylfots are early design forms of the swastika. The design is frequently encountered in Pennsylvania Dutch decoration in a form that many say resembles a pinwheel. Never a widely used word, etymologists attribute the meaning to Middle English on the basis of one usage in a text from 1500. There, fylfot is used for the design because it was allegedly frequently used to “fill” the “foot” of a stained glass window [...] 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.

Nutting, Wallace – American Photographer, Furniture Maker & Publisher

Wallace Nutting (1861-1941)

Wallace Nutting was born in Rockbottom, Massachusetts, in 1861. He was ordained a Congregational Minister in 1887 and while he appeared to excel in this profession, he continually declined calls from one church or another all over the country. He finally settled in 1894 in Providence, Rhode Island, as minister of the Union Church. He resigned from Union Church after a nervous breakdown in 1904 and began to take photographs in [...] Click here to continue reading.

Spratling, William – Mexican Silver – Artist & Jewelery Maker

William Spratling, Father of Mexican Silver (1900-1967)

William Spratling was born in 1900 in Sonyea, New York. After the death of both Spratling’s mother and sister, Wilhelmina, in 1910, Spratling’s father moved temporarily to his father’s Alabama home (known as Roamer’s Roost) with sons William and David as well as older daughter, Lucile. At that time, the three Spratling children became wards of their grandfather. By the end of 1912, the family had moved [...] Click here to continue reading.

Ralph Raby Collection – Provenance

The Ralph Raby Collection

Ralph Raby is a direct descendant of the Chicago retail shoe magnates George and Joseph Bullock. The Bullocks were typical upper-class Victorians, with a sophisticated eye for fine furniture, art and decorations who traveled extensively throughout Europe. The majority of the Raby collection was assembled by the brothers and their wives in the 1870′s and 1880′s.

Their travels and philosophy were described by Mr. Raby for a 1984 Chicago Tribune [...] Click here to continue reading.

Porter, Rufus – American Artist

Rufus Porter (1792 to 1884),

Rufus Porter, born in Massachusetts, began his career painting houses and signs, as well as making shoes and farming. He began painting portraits in New Haven, Connecticut where he also made fiddles. He traveled throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic painting portraits, landscapes, murals, and creating silhouettes with a camera obscura he designed himself. He established the magazine “New York Mechanic,” which would become “Scientific American.” Though untrained, he [...] Click here to continue reading.

Opus One Project – Winemaking

Opus One

The Opus One project marked an important milestone in American winemaking. For the first time, a towering figure from the European side, Baron Philippe Rothschild, saw fit to enter into a collaborative venture with the leading California vintner, Robert Mondavi. This association gave a renewed luster to Napa Valley winemaking. The Opus One wines tend to be elegant and silky – they are not cumbersome.

Note courtesy of Skinner Inc.

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