Santa Fe, Feb. 13, 2008–As you walk through the giant doors of the Roycroft Inn in East Aurora, N.Y., you get the feel of a building that easily housed 500 craftspeople. It’s sturdy and still like a great cathedral.
The Roycroft community located on the campus here was a focal point for people interested in the Arts and Crafts movement. Opened in 1905, the inn lodged thousands of visitors from around the world.
The floor plan and furniture in the inn are original or authentic reproductions. This is how it looked 100-years-ago complete with wicker furniture, Roycroft lamps and William Morris wallpaper. Carved into the bedroom doors lining the halls are the names of famous people. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charlotte Bronte, Henry David Thoreau, and Susan B. Anthony are among them.
Like a time capsule, the inn is one of 14 buildings on the National Historic site where writer-philosopher Elbert Hubbard started his utopian arts and crafts community in 1895. Printers, furniture makers, metalsmiths, leathersmiths, and bookbinders lived and worked together here.
“A belief in working with the head, hand and heart and mixing enough play with the work so that every task is pleasurable and makes for health and happiness,” John Ruskin, the writer said.
The Roycroft art colony embraced this creed like an old friend and what resulted was nothing short of miraculous. Everything from boxes, books, purses, rugs, baskets, place mats, lighting, wood carvings, and furniture to copper, silver, and brass pieces were produced.
Simple shapes, clear lines and minimal decoration–that was Roycroft in a nutshell. The principle behind each piece was “Not How Cheap, But How Good.”
Gone was the fussy Victorian clutter. In its place was a new style of design with an emphasis on function and creating a harmonizing feel to any room.
On Sept. 29 & 30, Dave Rago held his Craftsman auction weekend in Lambertville, N.J.
Included in the sale was a collection of Roycroft items. A simple, magazine stand; #80; with carved orb and cross mark; sold for $18,000.
Read the entire article at www.LiveAuctionTalk.com.