Monday, February 05, 2007

Victorian furniture, Belter

I love all Victorian furniture but the kind I love the most are those pieces made by John Henry Belter. He was a cabinet maker originally from Germany, who started his own business in New York. His furniture has all sorts of beautiful scrolling, mostly floral and leaf carving, and mostly in rosewood. Unfortunately he died fairly early, and was only making furniture between 1844 and 1863. His furniture was expensive at the time, and today because so few pieces were made, very difficult to find.

I have a picture, but unfortunately, I can't get it uploaded right now. I'll see if I can get it to work later. You may also see pictures of his work here:

http://www.mam.org/collections/americanart_detail_belter.htm

http://ah.bfn.org/a/archsty/rococo/met/index.html

For more information on Belter:

http://www.oldandsold.com/articles/article348.shtml

4 comments:

Susan Macatee said...

I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Victorian furniture. Too busy for my taste. Give me modern any day.

But, in order to describe what furnishings would be in my hero's family's home, I had to research mid-nineteenth century rooms.

Photos of Victorian parlors gave me nightmares. Those people sure did like scrolling and tassels.

Jennifer Ross said...

I'm with you, Susan. I get claustrophic looking at the pictures.

But my goodness, no wonder there are so few pieces, Dee. It must have taken him close to a year to do all that carving on each piece!

Jenn

John W said...

I'm drawn to Belter pieces and own two pieces of his work, though not his heavily pierced-carved pieces that you see costing $20-$60k and at museums.

if you *do* like Belter, I frequently blog about his pieces (and other makers of his ilk) that come up for sale. I do the research for my own potential purchasing purposes and started to blog about them since I had the information readily available. All my Belter-related blog entries are here: http://www.rarevictorian.com/labels/Belter.html

sevencorsa said...

I am restoring a small Victorian desk. Does anyone know if the leather for desk tops is anything special or will leather from a fabric shop work. The quotes that I have been receiving from vendors is insane. My desk top area to be covered is 19 x 29 inches and the quotes just for the leather have ranged from $ 205.00 to $ 507.00. Any suggestions or advice.thank you