The Furniture Revisited

May 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’d like to add a theory to my earlier “Myth Buster” post of April 29 which has generated many email and face to face comments. I found a newspaper column excerpt which I suspect may have led to the misunderstanding that evolved into the Springfield-rejected-Wright story. Although the commentator was referring to Susan’s Victorian furniture that was sold at the auction, an earlier researcher may have interpreted the column to mean that the auctioneer was having trouble selling all of Susan’s furniture, including that which Wright designed.

This comes from “Suggested by the Day’s News” by A.L. Bowen in the July 28, 1943, Illinois State Journal:

What style means in dollars and cents has been well illustrated at the sale of Susan Z. Lawrence’s household and personal effects.  Everything offered was perfect in condition, beautiful and well cared for.  Yet, nearly everything was out of style.  The pictures for which she had given hundreds of dollars, framed in the best gold of their day, were sold for a pittance, because they came down from another period.  Birdseye maple dressers, old fashioned but without a scratch and with perfect mirrors, brought $11 and $15.  Furniture of the same workmanship and quality of material in present day styles, not only would be difficult to find but, if found, would command prices in the hundreds. Thus is our attachment to style and our fears of being out of it.

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