Herter Brothers: Furniture and Interiors for a Gilded Age

Herter Brothers: Furniture and Interiors for a Gilded Age

  • ISBN-13: 9780810934269
  • $29.88

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In 1848, Gustave Herter arrived in America from Germany, fleeing political and economic chaos. His brother, Christian, joined him a decade later. By 1875 their firm, renamed Herter Brothers, was supplying the White House with furnishings, as it had been doing for some of America's wealthiest families since 1858. During this opulent period, Herter Brothers could claim to be the leading cabinetmaking and decorating firm in the country.The Herter brothers' extraordinary accomplishment has never before been the subject of a book. Here, at last, is an in-depth study of these talented men, their company, and its work, prized then as now for its design, richness of materials and detail, superb craftsmanship, and splendid diversity. The best of the Herter Brothers' furniture and interiors are displayed in 133 color and 167 black-and-white illustrations, including many close-up details as well as comparative work by rival fine cabinetmakers of the time in New York and Europe.Herter Brothers tells the story of the company from its earliest manifestations, when Gustave worked with other partners and alone, through his partnership with his brother, to Christian's years as head of the firm and the end of his tenure. The book places the company firmly in its context, international as well as domestic, with an extensive discussion of the brothers' background and influences and an absorbing narrative of the furniture and decoration trade in New York City in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Also described is the superb work done by the firm for their fabulously wealthy patrons - a who's who of the Gilded Age, including J. Pierpont Morgan, William H. Vanderbilt, and Jay Gould - for whom the Herters created some of their most lavish furniture and complete interiors. These commissions, many illustrated here, included woodwork, plasterwork, lighting fixtures, window treatments, wall and ceiling paintings, carpets, textiles, mosaics, stained glass, and decorative objects in addition to furniture.

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