Family Heirloom Becomes Priceless
Many of these furnishings are still found all over the world – now in museums, classical estates, or in your very own home as a family heirloom. Some pieces are hundreds of years old, and as they have aged have become more beautiful from natural aging. The oxidation of natural patinas, regular wear, use, and time can age a fine furnishing and transform these furnishings into unique pieces of artwork. Examples of this quality and history are everywhere. They range from George Washington’s handmade desk to the Besançon cabinet shown top of this page or your grandma’s or grandpa’s old furnishings etc. that has been passed through the generations of your family.
This French Renaissance Cabinet Was Rediscovered November 22,2005-August5,2007 At The Getty Center. This Cabinet, French, built about 1580 with late-19th-century additions. As recently as five years ago, most people believed this cabinet was a 19th-century piece purporting to be a 16th-century cabinet—in other words,a Fake.
When scholars reexamined it in 2001, they came to a very different conclusion. They now believe that the cabinet was made in 1580 and is one of the rarest and most valuable cabinets from the French Renaissance in the United States.
This exhibition tells the story of this discovery, offering a case study in how we learn about art. Renaissance Revival cabinet,1800s. Paul F. Miller, curator, Preservation Society of Newport County, discusses the cabinet's changing fortunes at the Getty Center.
Is It a Fake?
The cabinet was in suspiciously pristine condition and the surface was coated with colored wax, suggesting that someone had tried to make it look older than it really was. Experts concluded that the cabinet was a product of the Renaissance Revival of the 19th century, when American industrial magnates snapped up Renaissance-style furniture, including many fakes, from cash-strapped European aristocrats.
Getty paid $1,700 for the cabinet shown at the top of this page, a far cry from the asking price of $46,640 some 50 years before. The dubious cabinet was never displayed in the Getty Museum—until now. Preparators move the Getty cabinet out of storage, time to reconsider.
In 2001, curators in France organized an exhibition on 16th-century cabinetmaker Hugues Sambin. After a Getty curator visited Écouen to meet with scholars there, she decided to launch a thorough reexamination of the Museum's cabinet. Curators, conservators, and scientists teamed up to conduct research and scientific analysis. Science can help authenticate an object by dating the materials from which it was made.
The team's first scientific tool was dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating. Using this method, they discovered that the oak tree used to make the cabinet's structural panels was harvested in late 1574 or early 1575 in Burgundy, a region in southeastern France.
The rough marks on the back of the cabinet, for example, were made by a hand-held saw and a type of plane used in the 16th century.
The walnut and oak parts of the cabinet also have identical marks from a "bench dog," a toothed iron clip used to secure wood to a workbench. This suggests that both woods were worked on the same bench at roughly the same time.
Under a layer of red velvet fabric in the cabinet, the team found old nail holes from an earlier lining. These holes held traces of the original 16th-century fabric that still lines the drawer. Analysis of the tacks and tack holes on the door of the cabinet provided further proof of authenticity.
The exhibition is located at the Getty Center, Museum, South Pavilion.
What Does The French Reniance Have To Do With American Furniture ?.
A lot more than one might think. Every creative enterprise is always built on a foundation that was laid down by its predecessors. People who themselves were in turn dependent on the groundwork laid down by those who came before. This rule of mans art and enterprise is never more applicable than it is to hand made furniture. Furniture has been hand made for hundreds of years. In times past the same as today men,women and their families were known for their good reputation and their craftsmanship. In fact in the not to distant past the quality of your craft and product allowed you certain privileges. These privileges depended upon a mans word or promise and the true quality of his work. The better these were the higher one could rise. In the case of furnishing, If they were built right they would stand the test of time and become antiquities. It also meant these artisens would be remenbered far past their life times and become imortal in the harts and minds of the true collector and others. This French cabinet and other items like it set the bar for most american furniture makers
An Example Of How Furnishings Hand Built With Pride Of Craftsmanship Stand The Test Of Time. This example also applies to the hand made furnishing you purchase today
Every creative enterprise is always built on a foundation that was laid down by its predecessors. People who themselves were in turn dependent on the groundwork laid down by those who came before. Gustave Stickley's impact was felt far and wide at the time, he became a major factor in American furniture design. Gustave Stickly and the Greene's and Halls were the greatest early influence on the Marbella brothers concepts. These pioneers had laid down the foundation that the Marbella brothers would build upon in America.
Still building upon this foundation,is a direct decedent of the Marbella brothers. World renown artist, master craftsman in his own right and designer H.J.Nick carries on to this day the same ideals, methods and master craftsmanship.
Today known as Scottsdale Art Factory located in Scottsdale Arizona this factory is currently building some of the worlds finest handmade entrance doors, hand carved theme doors, custom investment quality furniture, hand-forged lighting chandeliers and hardware. All built to world class standards set down by these predecessors.
H.J.Nick's Scottsdale Art Factory is one of the largest handmade in America manufacturers. Featuring a state of the art design department headed by H.J.Nick himself. Designs built today are a joint collaboration between the customer and their design department. Using high tech and low tech these investment quality designs are limited only by the customers imagination.