Stickley Music CabinetComments (0)
In the early 20th century, furniture maker Gustav Stickley was famous for his solid oak Craftsman furniture. Also called “Mission” or “Arts & Crafts,” this stout, no-frills style is as popular today as it was over a century ago. Stickley’s straightforward designs—made of quartersawn white oak with prominent joinery—were intended to be an “honest” alternative to the fake joinery, gaudy frills, and shoddy work found on much of the mass-produced furniture of the time.
This handsome cabinet appeared as item No. 70 in Stickley’s 1909 Craftsman Furniture catalog. It was dubbed a “music cabinet” because it was sized to store sheet music, which was very popular in its day. With four adjustable shelves and an open area on top, it makes a lovely display cabinet or bookcase.
In keeping with Stickley tradition, the cabinet is made of solid wood throughout. The side panels, top, bottom, and shelves are all quartersawn white oak.
Stickley finished his original furniture by fuming with ammonium hydroxide fumes which react with the tannin in white oak to create a rich brown accentuating the quartersawn figure. I got similar results with an oil-based stain without all the hassle of fuming.
I made the leaded glass panels myself (see onlineEXTRAS), but you could source them from a local artist if you prefer. But you could substitute plain glass panels or a frame-and-panel wooden door—an option Stickley offered in his 1909 catalog.
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