Rare Victorian - Associating Herter Brothers With Decorative Inlay

Associating Herter Brothers With Decorative Inlay

RenRevial sofa Associating Herter Brothers With Decorative Inlay

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Peter sent me this photo of a Renaissance Revial parlor set that he has from a “wealthy relative” and was asking if I knew who the cabinetmaker may have been that constructed it.  He was wondering if it was made by Herter Brothers, probably due to the carved lion (or griffin) arms and especially the inlay that trims the set.

It is very common to see attributions made to Herter Brothers based on the presence of appealling inlay such as what is seen on this set.  In fact there is a parlor set on Ebay right now that is attributed to Herter Brothers due to it’s inclusion of inlay, abalone, copper and pewter.  The problem with the latter attribution is that I am unaware of Herter using some of those materials in their furniture.  Herts Brothers may be a more likely maker than Herter Brothers for that particular set (but I won’t even go so far as to classify that association as “possibly by“).  Date of manufacture was probably at least 10-20 years later than described.

Although it is a wonderful set, I don’t believe that Peter’s was made by Herter Brothers either (or even Gustave alone) but I present it here for others to comment on the set and it’s possible maker.

Stay tuned for a labeled Herts Brothers bedroom set that Rare Victorian readers will have an opportunity to purchase in the coming days …

RenRevial sofa Associating Herter Brothers With Decorative Inlay

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  • renaissanceman - July 28, 2009

    John – I agree, the gentleman who owns the inlaid parlor suite is quite nice, but definitely not Herter Brothers or Pottier & Stymus. I suspect it may have been made by Alexander Roux. The carved heads match his executed on other similar pieces and Roux clearly did inlay both on parlor furniture and cabinets in the 1870s when I believe this set was made. The parlor suite on Ebay is of exceptional quality, but likely made circa 1885 when furniture was transitioning to earlier styles, such as early English designs as is the case here. The workmanship of the inlay is very good and may in fact be of English manufacture, since many suites were being made in England with fine Mother of Pearl and brass inlay. The casters may provide some clues.


  • John Werry - July 28, 2009


    I was wracking my brain to remind myself where those heads were from. I had seen them before.

    When I get back to proximity to my books I’ll need to do that comparison.


  • John Werry - August 3, 2009

    Renaissanceman, which book is the Roux sofa in? I can’t locate it.

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