davewyo

Stickley Tusk Tenon?

Recommended Posts

I'm thinking about making a copy along the lines of this Stickley taboret:

http://IMG_1384_zpsvxoywbgn.jpg

A close examination of the joinery which connects the stretcher to the legs does not show what looks to me like a through tenon with tusk peg. From the outside the tenon does not appear to come through, plus the tusk peg does not appear to be a single piece.

It is certainly possible that this is a fake Stickley. The oval paper label matches what one would expect for the year 1900 but it is nailed on with one nail instead of two.

Did Stickley Bros. apply faux tusk tenons?

http://IMG_1383_zps0pugivp9.jpg

http://IMG_1382_zpsx5q0atbt.jpg

http://IMG_1381_zpstf3pzsnc.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if I'm seeing it right in the photos, but it looks like the stretcher dimension is the same as the through tenon dimension, which would leave no shoulder for the tusk to pull against. That, among other things makes me think fake for sure. I don't think the Stickleys did that sort of thing, but I'm no expert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its hard to tell from the pictures.  But one quick way to check is to look at the grain direction of the Y.  One of the branches its clear that the grain runs diagonally.  If the tenon were a true through tenon, the grain would run in a very similar direction on the outside of the leg as it did on the inside.  From the pictures its hard to know if the outside pictures are the same as the inside pictures.

 

As far as whether Stickley did or did not use faux tenons; I don't know.  The best place to look would likely be in Bob Langs Books.  In "Arts and Crafts Furniture Projects" he notes that some imitators would use dowels and then nail on a faux tenon.  it does look like there are nails in the tusk. but it also could have been some less than savvy person trying to "tighten" up a loose joint in the winter, or prevent losing a tusk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

while it could be a genuine stickley, it doesn't scream stickley to me:

1) the top seems too thick.  Stickley pieces typically had a 7/8" or so thick top.

2) The through tenons on the top are not characteristic

3) @Bob Lang has a couple taboret tables in his book "Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture" and that one is not included (I think).

Bob checks the forum from time to time and is an expert on genuine Stickley so maybe he will chime in. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, drzaius said:

Not sure if I'm seeing it right in the photos, but it looks like the stretcher dimension is the same as the through tenon dimension, which would leave no shoulder for the tusk to pull against.

 

32 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

No way it's a through tenon. Check the grain direction. 

You're both right. The grain doesn't follow through and the tenon on the outside is too large to be a true through tenon.

28 minutes ago, Mike. said:

while it could be a genuine stickley, it doesn't scream stickley to me:

1) the top seems too thick.  Stickley pieces typically had a 7/8" or so thick top.

2) The through tenons on the top are not characteristic

3) @Bob Lang has a couple taboret tables in his book "Shop Drawings for Craftsman Furniture" and that one is not included (I think).

Bob checks the forum from time to time and is an expert on genuine Stickley so maybe he will chime in. 

Good info. The top is 1 1/4" thick. The through tenons on the top are wedged. Just by eye-balling, two of the wedges are the same size. One is slightly smaller as if it wasn't driven quite as deep.

23 minutes ago, Andy Wright said:

Who owns the original table? Regardless of whether or not it is a genuine Stickley, I think it is a cool piece of furniture

The original is my employer's.

Yes, it is a really nice table! The details are attractive, the construction solid. The legs are tapered side to side, and they angle out as they go down, so the shoulders on the tenons are not 90* angles. The top is made of three pieces and the stretcher of two. They are joined with a spline, which looks nice on the end grain of the top.

I think that the false tusk tenons are a result of aesthetic choices rather than a cop-out to avoid tough joinery. If the tenons were smaller than the dimensions of the stretcher stock the tusks would look overly small.

I'm not so much trying to authenticate it. For such a small piece it's quite intricate and well made.

I just wondered if Stickley Bros. did faux tusks, out of my own curiosity.

If so, I think it says something about how they made the look of the piece primary. They made the tusk tenons look substantial because they felt like it was needed, and truth in joinery be damned...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder also, would Stickley have made the stretcher out of 1 board? 2 of the ends are almost cross grain, which makes for a very weak piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is what seems to be the same table from an antique dealer. He is calling it a Stickley 314 1/2. Do the dimensions and tag match your piece?

http://www.missionmanantiques.com/item.php?item=144

Stickley Bros. Tabouret #314 1/2

1 hour ago, drzaius said:

I wonder also, would Stickley have made the stretcher out of 1 board? 2 of the ends are almost cross grain, which makes for a very weak piece.

With the thick top and thru tenons in the top, the stretcher looks like its more decorative than structural. this table is built similar to a three legged milking stool, and those don't have any stretchers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Andy Wright said:

Here is what seems to be the same table from an antique dealer. He is calling it a Stickley 314 1/2. Do the dimensions and tag match your piece?

http://www.missionmanantiques.com/item.php?item=144

Stickley Bros. Tabouret #314 1/2

With the thick top and thru tenons in the top, the stretcher looks like its more decorative than structural. this table is built similar to a three legged milking stool, and those don't have any stretchers

True that. The stretcher on the real Stickley looks to be thicker as well as real through tenons..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Andy Wright said:

Here is what seems to be the same table from an antique dealer. He is calling it a Stickley 314 1/2. Do the dimensions and tag match your piece?

http://www.missionmanantiques.com/item.php?item=144

Stickley Bros. Tabouret #314 1/2

With the thick top and thru tenons in the top, the stretcher looks like its more decorative than structural. this table is built similar to a three legged milking stool, and those don't have any stretchers

The height is 17 5/8" and the top is 15", so yes; pretty close. The label is different, but that listing mentions a tack where the paper label would have been which is what the table has (an oval paper label with tack).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Late to the party, but I wanted to "chime in". What does the label look like? I've attached two images that might be correct. One is from the L. & J.G. Stickley company of Fayeteville, NY and the other is from the Stickley Brothers Company of Grand Rapids, MI. Neither of those are the Stickley, Gustav Stickley whose company was known originally as United Crafts and later as "The Craftman Workshops" of Eastwood, NY. More images of logos are available here but the company history presented on that page was written by the winners, the current L. & J.G. Stickley company. The auction site identifies the table as "Stickley Brothers" and that is correct to the best of my knowledge.

Here is the quick and dirty rundown on the Stickley Brothers:

There were 5 Stickley brothers, Gustav, Leopold, John George, Albert and Charles. The "Stickley Brothers" company was mainly Albert. John George was a sales rep for Albert and later served the same role for Leopold at L. & J.G. Stickley. Charles ran yet another company, known as Stickley & Brandt. It's easy to confuse what furniture came from where, and to assign a value (either monetary or artistic) based on a different player than the actual maker.

If you compare this design to one of Gustav's like this one it is kind of clunky with the thick top and structurally flawed with the phony tusk tenons and the short grain on the lower stretcher. Generally speaking Gustav's company produced better furniture and original designs. Leopold made pretty good quality stuff, but the designs were mostly derived from Gus, with a few exceptions. Stickley Bros. produced a mixed bag, both from a quality and design standpoint. Better Stickley Bros. pieces looked more like English Arts & Crafts than American.

A few years after the introduction of his furniture, Gustav Stickley had about 150 other companies, including those owned by his own brothers knocking off his work. My book goes into a lot more detail about all of this, and if you can find your way to my website I'd be happy to sell you a copy.

hope this helps,

02_1904_1906_LJG_OnondagaOval.gif

stickleybros-logo.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.