On Friday, February 4 and Saturday, February 5, 2011 at noon, the Rago Arts and Auction Center will re-offer Gustav Stickley furniture from the Vancroft mansion in Wellsburg, West Virginia.
Built in 1901, Vancroft was designed by the firm of Alden & Harlow for Joseph B. Vandergrift, son of J.J. Vandergrift, a famous riverboat captain, industrialist, and one of the founders of Standard Oil. It is extensively documented in the book Architecture after Richardson by Margaret Henderson Floyd, in which the author calls the house “Alden & Harlow’s consummate architectural achievement.” Furniture from Gustav Stickley’s 1901 Chips from the Workshops of the United Crafts was used throughout the main living areas. In the dining room, where the scale was too large for production furniture, Stickley custom-made the larger pieces to accommodate the room’s proportions. (Interested parties can see an original portfolio of Vancroft photographs taken by noted Pittsburgh photographer Ralph Johnston in the architectural library at Carnegie Mellon University.)
The eight lots Rago is offering from Vancroft in this sale were sold by the auction house in 2007, when it sold much of the original Stickley furniture from the house. Due to family circumstances, these pieces are now being reoffered.
The Vancroft consignment is only part of an exceptional grouping of Arts and Crafts furnishings assembled for the sale. A museum-worthy Rohlfs coal hod (lot 70) is an estate fresh and very original piece. This particular form is referenced in Joseph Cunningham's book The Artistic Furniture of Charles Rohlfs, as being produced in 1898-1899. Two later examples with different carvings have sold, but this particular form seems to be a first time on the market; it is estimated at $15,000-25,000. There are extremely rare items from The Mission Inn Riverside, which is a landmark building in Riverside, California. Lot 183 is a rare and massive Ebon-Oak dresser by Limbert, which has the Mission Inn logo and is estimated at $8,000-12,000.
Lots: 276, Gustav Stickley, Set of twelve rare and early dining chairs with drop-in leather-covered seats, ca. 1901, $12,000-18,000; 277, Gustav Stickley, Custom-made dining table with square top, ca. 1901, opens to 23 feet, $15,000-25,000; 278, Gustav Stickley, Oversized ladderback armchair with drop-in seat, ca. 1901, $1,000-2,000; 279, Gustav Stickley, Bungalow armchair, ca. 1901, $800-1,200; 280, Gustav Stickley, Window seat, ca. 1901, $1,500-2,500; 281, Rustic, Pair of hand-made twig stands, ca. 1901, $1,400-2,200; 282, Gustav Stickley, Ladderback armchair and rocker, ca. 1901, $2,000-3,000; 283, Gustav Stickley, Bungalow library table, ca. 1901, $1,000-2,000.
· Friday, February 4 at Noon: Early 20th C. Design/Arts and Crafts
· Saturday, February 5 at Noon: Mid 20th C. – 21st C/Modern
· Telephone, absentee, online bidding available for those unable to attend.
· Saturday, January 29, 2011 through Thursday, February 3, from 12-5 p.m. and by appointment. Doors open on days of sale at 9 a.m.
· Rago’s is located midway between New York City and Philadelphia. Directions online at ragoarts.com