e - Skinner

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e - Skinner
E N G L A N D ’ S
M A G A Z I N E
THE GUIDE
a n t i q u ea
s n&t c
i qoul el s
e c&t c
i bollelse c t i b l e s
| home | home
THE GUIDE
THE GUIDE
AnAn
EyeEye
for Blondes
for Blondes
In the 1930s,
In the
furniture
1930s,from
furniture from
Heywood-Wakefield
Heywood-Wakefield
in Gardner,in Gardner,
Massachusetts,
Massachusetts,
gave American
gave American
homes a bright,
homesfresh
a bright,
look.fresh look.
b y C aT H E r I n
bE
y r
CIaT
E DH
EE
lrInE rIEDEl
walter
levi
heywood
heywood
walter
seth
heywood
heywood
william
seth
heywood
heywood
william
heywood
ometimes I fear
ometimes
that modernI fear that modernday Americans
day
areAmericans
like hot- are like hothouse f lowers: house
big, bold,
f lowers:
beau-big, bold, beautiful, yet too fragile
tiful, yet
to survive
too fragile to survive
outside a pristine
outside
environment.
a pristine Ienvironment. I
hope I’m wrong,
hope
because
I’m wrong,
given our
because
socialgiven
and our social and
economic woes,
economic
we’re going
woes,
to we’re
have to
going
learn
to have to learn
to live in harsher
to climes.
live in harsher
Let’s hope
climes.
thereLet’s
willhope there will
be those amongbeusthose
whose
among
roots us
take
whose
holdroots
and take hold and
grow stronger—as
grow
happened
stronger—as
during
happened
the 1930s.
during the 1930s.
Although the Great
Although
Depression
the Great
robbed
Depression
many robbed many
Americans of homes,
Americans
businesses,
of homes,
andbusinesses,
fortunes, and fortunes,
for others it wasfor
a strangely
others it was
motivating
a strangely
kickmotivating
in
kick in
the pants, spawning
the pants,
seedsspawning
of successseeds
that would
of success that would
bloom for yearsbloom
to follow.
for years
So goes
to follow.
the story
So of
goes the story of
one such f lower:
one the
suchHeywood-Wakef
f lower: the Heyield
wood-Wakef ield
Company of Gardner,
Company
Massachusetts.
of Gardner, Massachusetts.
Founded in 1826
Founded
by five in
brothers—Walter,
1826 by five brothers—Walter,
Levi, Seth, Benjamin
Levi, Seth,
(whoBenjamin
never consented
(who never
to consented to
be photographed),
be photographed),
and William Heywood—
and William Heywood—
the company began
the company
makingbegan
simplemaking
woodensimple wooden
chairs in the family’s
chairs old
in the
barn.
family’s
By 1897,
old barn.
Hey- By 1897, Heywood Brotherswood
had Brothers
joined forces
had with
joinedthe
forces with the
Wakef ield Rattan
Wakef
Company.
ield Rattan
ForCompany.
the next For the next
three decades, three
the firm
decades,
thrived,
theproducing
firm thrived,
a producing a
wide range of finely
wide crafted
range ofwood,
finelywicker,
craftedand
wood, wicker, and
rattan furniture.rattan furniture.
By the mid-1930s,
By the
Heywood-Wakef
mid-1930s, Heywood-Wakef
ield
ield
was a venerablewas
institution,
a venerable
butinstitution,
with furniture
but with furniture
designs stuck in
designs
the 19th
stuck
century,
in theit19th
was century,
well
it was well
positioned to fail
positioned
with the to
onset
fail of
with
hard
thetimes.
onset of hard times.
from top: this classic
from
Heywoodtop: this classic
HeywoodRather
than cling
Rather
to itsthan
past,cling
however,
to itsthe
past,
comhowever, the comWakefield step end table
Wakefield
was one
step end
tableset
wasaone
pany
new course:
pany setcreating
a new course:
the Heywoodcreating the Heywoodof the company’s most
of the
popular
company’s most popular
Wakefield
“Modern”
Wakefield
series,
“Modern”
a style ofseries,
furniture
a style of furniture
products; a cocktailproducts;
table
a cocktail table
so guardrails
thoroughly
futuristic
so thoroughly
that its
futuristic
fresh, vibrant
that its fresh, vibrant
features sculpted guardrails
features sculpted
to
to
prevent drinks from prevent
sliding off;
drinks from
looksliding
was off;
mud in
look
thewas
eyemud
to the
in despondency
the eye to the despondency
a triple-pedestal dining
a triple-pedestal
table,
dining table,
of
the
era.
Optimistic
of
the
era.
Americans,
Optimistic
eager
Americans,
to
eager to
here with leaves raised,
heresports
with leaves raised, sports
embrace
a brighter
embrace
view of
a brighter
things, ate
view
it up.
of things, ate it up.
a futuristic design. a futuristic
design.
70 |
70 |
yankeemagazine.com
yankeemagazine.com
Co n T E m p o r a ry p H oTo s r E p r I n T E D f r o m H E y wo o D -wa k E f I E l D b y H a r r I s G E r T z ,
C o p y r I G H T H a r r I s G E r T z , w I T H p E r m I s s I o n f r o m T H E p U b l I s H E r , s C H I f f E r p U b l I s H I n G lT D .
levi
heywood
| home | home
THE GUIDE
left, a master craftsman
left, a
puts
master
the finishing
craftsman puts the finishing
below
, the gardner,
touches on a graceful
touches
piece.on
a graceful
piece. below, the gardner,
massachusetts, factory
massachusetts,
in its heyday.
factory in its heyday.
Co n T E m p o r a ry p H oTo s r E p r I n T E D f r o m H E y wo o D -wa k E f I E l D b y H a r r I s G E r T z ,
C o p y r I G H T H a r r I s G E r T z , w I T H p E r m I s s I o n f r o m T H E p U b l I s H E r , s C H I f f E r p U b l I s H I n G lT D .
N E W
July/August 2010
www.YankeeMagazine.com
Russel Wright,Russel
W. Joseph
Wright,
Carr,
W.Leo
Joseph Carr, Leo
Jiranek, and Count
Jiranek,
Alexis
and de
Count
SakhAlexis de Sakhnoffsky. These noffsky.
guys knew
These
streamlined
guys knew streamlined
design and howdesign
to create
and ithow
en masse
to create it en masse
on a productionon
line.
a production
By the 1940s
line.and
By the 1940s and
’50s, homes across
’50s,
America
homes across
sportedAmerica
the
sported the
blonde look: dining
blonde
tables,
look:chairs,
diningbedtables, chairs, bedroom sets, bookcases,
room sets,
cabinets,
bookcases,
desks,cabinets, desks,
side tables, andside
vanities,
tables,alland
from
vanities,
lines all from lines
aptly tagged with
aptlymodern-sounding
tagged with modern-sounding
monikers, suchmonikers,
as “Sculptura,”
such as“Cre“Sculptura,” “Crescendo,” and “Kohinoor.”
scendo,” and “Kohinoor.”
By the 1960s, By
however,
the 1960s, however,
the bloom was the
off the
bloom
rose,
was off the rose,
and America’s love
and America’s
of Hey- love of Heywood-Wakef ield
wood-Wakef
Modern ield Modern
waned. Ironically
waned.
enough,
Ironically enough,
its demise was its
hastened
demiseby
was hastened by
the firm’s focusthe
on firm’s
quality:
focus on quality:
The furniture The
was furniture
simply was simply
too expensive too
to produce.
expensive to produce.
The last of the Modern
The last line
of the Modern line
came out in 1966;
came
theout
comin 1966; the company declared pany
bankruptcy
declared bankruptcy
in 1981.
in 1981.
But grieve not, But
Midcengrieve not, Midcentury fans.
tury
you
fans.
canToday
find highyou can find highHeywood-Wakefield
Heywood-Wakefield
Modern is just Modern
is justToday
Heywood-Wakefield
quality Heywood-Wakefield
pieces at
pieces at
plain fun. Its simple
plain fun.
linesIts
and
simple
casual
linesquality
and casual
flea markets,
fleastores,
markets,
consignment
thrift stores, consignment
elegance connote
elegance
a freshconnote
start, a clean
a fresh start,
a clean thrift
and auctions,
shops,and
andthey’re
auctions,
priced
and they’re priced
slate, a hopefulslate,
outlook.
a hopeful
The collecoutlook. shops,
The collecsell: solid
Anywhere
to sell:
from
Anywhere
$25 to $500
from $25 to $500
tion’s signaturetion’s
look comes
signature
from
look
solid
comestofrom
a masterpiece.
fetch you aThat’s
masterpiece. That’s
Northern yellow
Northern
birch, styled
yellow with
birch, could
styledfetch
withyoucould
rounded corners
rounded
(achieved
corners
by steam(achieved
a fraction
by steamof what
a fraction
you’d pay
of what
retailyou’d
for pay retail for
ing and bending
ing
the
and
wood),
bending
a smooth,
the wood),
new
a smooth,
reproductions,
new reproductions,
now being created
now being created
light-blonde finish,
light-blonde
and zerofinish,
ornamenand zero
and
ornamenmarketed once
and again
marketed
as Heywoodonce again as Heywoodtation. Unliketation.
some of
Unlike
the copycat
some of the
Wakefield—so
copycat Wakefield—so
buyer beware. buyer beware.
versions that followed,
versionsit’s
that
well
followed,
made. it’s wellImade.
love these 1930s
I love
gems.
these
They
1930s
mix
gems. They mix
To get the lookTo
justget
right,
the look
the comjust right,
wellthe
with
coma variety
wellof
with
styles,
a variety
and their
of styles, and their
pany sought out
pany
modern
soughtindustrial
out modernonce-so-futuristic
industrial once-so-futuristic
prof ile is nowprof
a ile is now a
designers, including
designers,
Gilbert
including
Rohde,Gilbert
Rohde,
classic
look. Noclassic
matter
look.
the No
economic
matter the economic
climate, the fresh
climate,
fun of
theHeywoodfresh fun of HeywoodWakefield blooms
Wakefield
eternal. blooms eternal.
For more on this era
furniture
Forofmore
on this era of furniture
Catherine RiedelCatherine
representsRiedel
Skinner
represents Skinner
design, we recommend
design,Heywoodwe recommend HeywoodAuctioneers
and Auctioneers
Appraisers ofand
Boston
Appraisers
and of Boston and
Wakefield: A Schiffer
BookAfor
Wakefield:
Schiffer Book
for
Massachusetts.
Marlborough,617-350Massachusetts. 617-350Designers & Collectors,
by&
Harris
Designers
Collectors,Marlborough,
by Harris
508-970-3000;
5400, 508-970-3000;
skinnerinc.com skinnerinc.com
Gertz (Schiffer Publishing,
2001).
Gertz (Schiffer
Publishing,5400,
2001).
| october 2010
september | october
september
2010
| 71
| 71
Reprinted with permission from Yankee Magazine, July/August 2010
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YK0910_AntiquesE.indd
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