A Review of the Stickley John Widdicomb Furniture Collection

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The Stickley John Widdicomb furniture collection is not only beautifully crafted, but steeped in English and American traditions. It is used in embassies and stately homes worldwide, and is famed not only for the quality of craftsmanship involved in its construction, but also for its unique designs and use of beautiful veneers and hand-painted motifs.

George Widdicomb left England in 1845 for New York, where he set up a cabinet store in Syracuse. He left Syracuse in 1857, and headed for Grand Rapids, Michigan. There he started up another cabinet shop along with several other carpenters. His experience of making fine English furniture paid off, because his style rapidly became popular in an area of America that was more used to the pioneering style of furniture.

His products were a breath of fresh air, and his business rapidly grew. John Widdicomb was George’s fourth son, and he inherited his father’s ability to create the most beautiful pieces of furniture from local wood as well as from Mahogany from Haiti and Mexico. John set up his own business across the street from his father, producing wooden mantelpieces and other forms of interior woodwork

The Dean of Furniture Design

John’s nephew, Ralph Widdicombe, joined him as a designer, and eventually became known as the Dean of furniture design. They were to work together for 53 years until John retired in 1951. The company continued in business until May, 2002, when the Grand Rapids plant was closed and the assets purchased by L. & J.G. Stickley.

It now operates as a division of Stickley in Manlius, New York. John Widdicomb furniture is still available as a collection marketed by Stickley, offering a large number of reproduction pieces of French, English, Italian and Russian design in addition to a selection of furniture in the American art Moderne style. John Widdicomb furniture is hand-made to a very high quality and produced in limited quantities.

The John Widdicomb Furniture Collection offered by Stickley furniture is suitable for any period home or public building seeking high quality reproduction furniture. The inlay work and parquetry are magnificent, using a number of wood veneers and a high grade of mahogany.

The Russian cabinets look fabulous, offering an insight into how the Russian nobles and royal family furnished their castles and palaces. With antique back mirrors, touch-controlled lighting and adjustable glass shelves, this is a beautiful piece of reproduction furniture that would grace any home and is available in single, double or triple (126 inch) widths. Alternative plain wooden or off-white moiré backs are offered,

Dining Tables and Chairs

The 68 inch long Russian table is made in the Catherine II style, topped with matched walnut veneers and with a frame of inlaid ebony. Alternatively, you might choose a 78 inch long Georgian dining table, topped with Circassian walnut and satinwood inlays. The table lies on two mahogany pedestals, intricately turned and resting on reeded sabre legs.

You have a choice of chairs to go with it, with and without arms. One example is a beautiful Queen Anne baroque side chair with finely curved cabriole legs. Another is the Georgian lyre back side chair, with square tapered legs. You might prefer a Russian chair to go with the Russian table, the John Widdicomb Russian side chair with tapered legs. Each of these three chairs is upholstered, and covered with a brocade or fabric appropriate to the period.

The John Widdicomb furniture collection offered by Stickley furniture provides a wonderful choice of occasional tables and chairs, credenzas and other cabinets, and a total of 34 possible stained, lacquered, marbled or painted finishes and many of the Widdicomb piece are available in a choice of sizes and trims.

The Saracenic Occasional Table

One particularly attractive occasional table is the 26 inch diameter Saracenic circular table. Standing 29.5 inches high, the design of this table was inspired by an Indian textile pattern of the 15th century. It offers a number of patterns radiating out from the center. These are inlaid in a number of attractive woods, namely satinwood, Indian rosewood and ebony, and there is also some teak and decorated faux ivory. The top is supported by five sabre legs joined by an arched centered stretcher. You need to see this to appreciate its great beauty which is redolent of ancient India.

The John Widdicomb furniture collection is offered by L. & J.G. Stickley, of Manlius New York. If you have a need for reproduction furniture, John Widdicomb furniture is just one of the reproduction collections that Stickley offers. Every piece is carefully and lovingly hand-made, and the new St. Croix collection enables you to furnish your home in the old colonial Caribbean style.

Irrespective of what style you are trying to recreate in your home, you will find what you want in the Stickley furniture range. The John Widdicomb furniture collection is particularly useful for those seeking to create the old Russian and French imperial ages, or if you prefer it, the Georgian period of English and American history.

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Source by Peter Nisbet

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