Friday, September 11, 2009

Belter Sofa Goes to Museum

I am pleased to announce that the Tom Thumb Sofa with its original
Period upholstery has found a new home and will now reside at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota Fla. Tom Thumb was without question the most famous midget in history. Phineas T Barnum discovered him & made him the most famous of human curiosities in his circus. It is therefore befitting that this important example of American Furniture reside there. The sofa is rosewood in the rococo revival style popular when Tom Thumb married Lavina Warren Stratton. The sofa has three beautifully carved floral crests, with identically carved arms and stretcher with floral cartouche identical to those on documented pieces of Rococo Revival Furniture. The premier furniture maker of this period was John Henry Belter who worked in New York City in the mid 19thC. Also, of importance is the original upholstery & upholstery form on the settee & its use of nail heads. The colorful silk damask velvet is most unusual & original to the settee. The settee was passed down thru Lavina Warren Stratton’s family.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Belter & Laminated Furniture Construction

John Henry Belter is famous for constructing laminated furniture of two basic types; press-laminated and block-laminated. For furniture connoisseurs the press-laminated furniture is that which is most closely associated with Belter's work and that which is most easily identifiable as Belter's work. However, a body of block-laminated work by Belter exists which is not as well known to the public. In the photos, one can see a diminutive block-laminated Belter table and a typical press-laminated Belter table.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Belter Furniture

Joan Bogart has been dealing in 19thC American Decorative Arts since the mid 1970's. She has always been identified with selling Furniture made by John Henry Belter in New York between 1844-63. Belter's laminated furniture is in most major American museums. It was Joan Bogart who in the early 1980's bought the Laminated Rococo Revival Center table that is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art & I have attached an image of the table here. I have also attached an image of a rare Belter console table & another Belter center table that is block laminated. There is an image of a laminated round Belter table with a pierce carved apron with an eagle in the center. All the tables shown here are Rosewood & by John Henry Belter & show the difference in his designs & the exhuberance of the detail on his tables.