News-Antique.com - Jan 21,2008 - Jan. 21, 2008--Call it revolt against fussy and over-the-top Victorian furniture. That’s Arts and Crafts design. Let’s face it, when you combine massive size with oozing fruit, flower and plant trimmings, the Victorian style can be hard to handle.
Not to mention the fact that a Victorian sideboard can swallow up a room. If you live in a turn-of-the-century manor it’s no big deal. If you live in a contemporary bungalow, it’s madness, like a traffic jam in the dining room.
With its plain, severely simple--yet graceful design, Arts and Crafts was a new start. The natural materials and honest craftsmanship was impossible to ignore.
The furniture of Grand Rapids manufacturer Charles P. Limbert not only wowed designers and homeowners during the early-20th century, collectors today still can’t get enough.
Like all great things, there is timeless quality to Arts and Crafts design. It’s a way of seeing that rejects furniture decorated like a birthday cake.
Skillful craftsmanship was enough for these designers. Limbert started making what he called "Dutch Arts and Crafts" style furniture in 1902.
He said the original Spanish Mission Style was derived from Dutch furniture designs. So he always used the phrase "Arts and Crafts," and never the word "Mission" to describe it.
With a touch of whimsy, his decorative cutouts, squares, spades, and hearts are simply enchanting. Even though the furniture was made in a factory much of the handwork is obvious in the hardware and in joining and finishing the pieces.
In fact Limbert’s trademark was a craftsman at his workbench. It offered the feel of old world craftsmanship.
The Arts and Crafts movement began in mid-19th century England as an answer to mass-produced factory goods. By the turn-of-the-century, America joined the bandwagon.
On Sept. 9, Treadway/Toomey Auctions offered a selection of Limbert furniture in its 20th century Art & Design sale. An early armchair sold for $3,480.
Read the entire article at www.LiveAuctionTalk.com.