Well, I’ve been looking for something like this for quite some time. These are excepts from a 43 page catalog exclusively detailing ornamental wood pieces that furniture makers could purchase to incorporate into their furniture. This catalog is from 1874 for Ornamental Wood Company of Bridgeport, Conn. They are certainly not the only manufacturer of these adornments from the time, so there are still many catalogs yet to be found out there.
Offered for sale in the catalog are doorknobs, shutter knobs, escutcheons, medallions, rosettes, panel ornaments, brackets, leaves, heads, curtain pins, sleeve buttons, jewel boxes, and ornamental buttons for clothing – made “In Natural Woods”.
The above page is one of the most interesting to me since it shows some familiar elements that we’ve all seen adorning furniture we own or see in the market. There are no carved bust furniture arms available in this catalog so I am still looking for a source that supplied some or all of the furniture arms for Jelliff, Schrenkeisen, J.W. Hamburger, and others.
In the images below you will see carved elements that are represented in the Ornamental Wood Company catalog that had been utilized on antique furniture made during the period. The lion head image is from the Herter Brothers bookcase that I previously featured in my blog postings and it is item #58 in the catalog. The top rosette on the bed footboard is from page 16 in the catalog. The female head on the table skirt is one of the heads pictured at the top of this post.
Thanks go out to Steve Rowe, a Rare Victorian reader who received a copy of the original catalog from owner, Mr. Rhett Butler of E.R. Butler and company, New York. Thanks for sharing the images, Steve and thanks to Mr. Butler for having the wisdom to snap up this historic resource.
If any of you have resources or a story to share with Rare Victorian readers, please drop me a line. Thanks to contributors like Steve, we all learn more about this period of furniture-making that we all enjoy.
I would also like to open up the blog to other writers. If you would like to express yourself directly to the Rare Victorian readership and share some Victoriana with us, contact me. As this is a blog and not Time Magazine, we do not have to be professional writers, so don’t be put off by any concerns there. Over time I would like to add additional writers to supplement my postings and provide more content and value to the readers. It will take time, but that is a longer term goal.