Aesthetic Oak Sideboard With Gallery
Herter Brothers, New York c. 1875-1880
The arching buttresses supporting its framework gallery spring almost weightlessly from its lower case. These novel forms deftly articulate the connection between the solid base and open framework top – a design challenge that E. W. Godwin addressed similarly, although perhaps in some ways less successfully, in bookcases he designed for Dromore Castle in 1869, to which the present piece would appear related. The robust simplicity of this distinctive branded Herter Brothers piece places it firmly in the tradition of – and clearly it owes its inspiration to – the English Reform Movement in its conception, construction and carved oak detail.