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August 21, 2020 6 min read

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

Of the many possessions that generations pass on to the next, furniture is often overlooked, and that is a genuine shame. The furniture that the previous generations owned should hold just as much meaning as a father’s watch or a mother’s engagement ring.

Too often, the furniture that people buy is built to last temporarily and will eventually fail. Your father’s armchair won’t have that same sentimental value once wear and tear, and years of use have taken their toll.

Thankfully there are furniture manufacturers who still take pride in building high-quality heirloom collections that pass on to future generations. Solid wood craftsmanship and attention to detail make furniture hold up to the many memories made during their lifespan.

Stickley furniture is a brand that values legacy, quality, and craftsmanship, and their collections are some of the highest quality furniture on the market. A well-crafted piece of Stickley furniture will gather cherished memories and last through to the next generation.

Furniture Fair has been selling high quality furniture for over 50 years and we’ve recently partnered with Stickley to become an official Stickley Vendor! Now the gold standard in furniture is available to the Cincinnati, Louisville, and Dayton area!

The Stickley Brand Legacy

The Stickley brothers burst into international prominence in the early 20th century with their Mission Oak designs.

The Mission design proposes that furniture should be “honest”—a reaction against the fake joinery, unnecessary gaudiness, and shoddy quality of many of the pieces created in the early days of industrial furniture making.  

The Stickley Brothers used solid construction, what-you-see-is-what-you-get joinery, and the highest quality woods. Finishes were not thick gums, but transparent dyes that allowed natural grain to sparkle.

The Stickley brothers showed a genius for design by creating hundreds of new forms that were beautiful, practical, exceedingly strong and long-lasting, and perfect for American families.

After the Stickley brothers passed away, the legacy moved to the Audi family. At his Manhattan showroom, E.J. Audi had, for years, been the leading seller of Stickley’s unique furniture.

His son Alfred, and Alfred’s wife, Aminy, were unwilling to let Stickley become a relic of the past and decided to purchase the Stickley factory when Leopold’s widow was on the brink of closing.

Alfred promised a couple of dozen employees then remaining that, “If you stick with me, I’ll stick with you, and we’re going to make this place move.” Together, they rejuvenated the company.

Alfred Audi passed away in the fall of 2007, but the Stickley legacy lived on through his wife, Aminy, and son Edward.

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection
Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

The Stickley Dedication to Sustainability

The world that Gustav Stickley lived in had many of the same concerns that are still evident today. An avid believer in conservation, Stickley observed in 1909,

“Our native woods are becoming too scarce, and therefore too valuable, for us longer to degrade them to wasteful and unlovely uses. With this enforced respect for their materials, we may reasonably hope to see our house-builders become home-builders, and our furniture-makers once again animated by true spirit of craftsmanship…”

—Gustav Stickley, “The Destruction of American Forests,” The Craftsman, November 1909

Stickley’s remarks reflect the mission of the company both then and now. The hardwoods and materials used to manufacture their products are too precious to be used wastefully. Stickley’s goal is to create high-quality products without damaging the environment that helps create them.

Stickley furniture reduces the need for recurring furniture purchases, making the brand a more sustainable purchase decision. Solid wood and handcrafted pieces are made to last generations and will be useful to the next generation.

The craftsmanship evident in the collection cuts back on the unnecessary waste created by cheaper furniture, reducing the number of old sofas and coffee tables headed to landfills.

The Stickley philosophy is “living in harmony with nature.” This philosophy is what guides the focus on durability, quality, and long-lasting furniture. Stickley is also a proud member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council and complies with federal, state, and local environmental regulations.

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection
Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

The Mission Collection Overview

The Mission Collection has roots that go back to the early 1900s and the Arts and Crafts movement of that era. The Industrial Revolution had left many people unsatisfied with the uniform, manufactured looks churned out by factories and machines.

The Arts and Crafts movement was a way for artisans to retain that personal commitment to their work and bring out the artistic qualities of functional furniture. The campaign gave way to some uniquely regional furniture expressions.

The Mission Collection began during this time and has become one of two uniquely American furniture design styles.

Mission uses old-world woodcrafting techniques and distinctly American styles to create a look that is both visually appealing and built to lastgenerations.

Mission pieces emphasize simple horizontal and vertical lines with flat panels that accentuate the grain of the wood, and simple, practical joinery and finishing.

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

Quality Construction

Craftsmanship and attention to detail can get lost in the process of mass production. Stickley has consistently stayed true to the quality that defines their brand.

Every piece built is made with the old Flemish saying, “Als Ik Kan” or, “to the best of my ability” kept in mind. Every Stickley product is built solid and built to last.

Stickley furniture is intentionally overbuilt, made with much higher standards than is necessary for an average piece of furniture. This high standard of manufacturing quality ensures that the customer is getting the best-of-the-best in heirloom-quality furniture.

Overbuilding has been the company’s standard since it’s founding over a century ago, and the result is evident in the furniture that they produce. Here are some of the construction methods that help make Stickley one of the highest quality furniture makers in the United States.

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection
Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

Quartersawnsawn Timber

Part of Stickley’s effort to maintain that sustainability is using the quartersawn method.

Contrary to flatsawn timber, quartersawn timber obtains the maximum use out of the tree, and is used to create solid wood pieces that are much less susceptible to warping and cracking.

In addition to the less-wasteful use of timber, quartersawn wood also creates the “tiger-stripe” pattern, which adds unique, highly sought-after details to each piece.

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

Mortise and Tenon Joints

Much modern furniture features nails, screws, and glue, which can eventually affect the integrity of the wood.The wood can become cracked, split, causing your furniture to break down.

Mortise and Tenon Joints are an old furniture construction method that languishes in modern furniture building due to the effort involved in making a piece using the technique.

Mortise and Tenon Joints do not use screws or nails, and the joint will last longer than you, if properly maintained.

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection
Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

Tongue and Groove Joints

Tongue and groove joints make board alignment more accurate for your piece and allow for better board matching. Tongue and groove joints help you get a sturdier, and better-looking product.

The tongue and groove joints also help protect the wood during expansion from temperature changes.

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

Quadralinear Posts

Other furniture brands often imitate this look, but Stickley posts are both beautiful and functional.

A quadralinear post features three quarter-sawn boards, joined together around a solid core, strengthening the post and letting the ray-flake texture of the natural wood shine through.

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection
Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection

Heirloom Furniture

A large part of Stickley’s commitment to legacy is that every piece of high-quality heirloom furniture they manufacture is sourced and built in the United States. The mission collection has been part of people’s heirloom possessions for the past four generations.

The heirloom-quality craftsmanship means that more care and oversight will go into the manufacturing process. The materials obtained will be of the best quality and last for generations.

Stickley furniture has an unprecedented resale value, and the Stickley brand is particularly sought after by antique dealers for the high resale value that the products have. The Mission collection pieces will sell for even more than the initial purchase price.

One hundred years from now, the furniture made by Stickley today will still be durable and useful. Stickley furniture is of the most exceptional quality, with every piece made with honor, integrity, and pride. For some fans of Stickley, some of the products that they have are the ones their parents bought.

A Legacy of Greatness Awaits Your Home

Furniture Fair now carries the Stickley Mission collection, as well as several other Stickley collections.

The quality and overbuilt craftsmanship that has been a hallmark of Stickley for four generations is now available for your home.

If you want to know more about the Stickley collections we feature, visit our Florence, Fields Ertel, and Louisville showrooms or check us out online!

Generations of Quality A Look at The Stickley Mission Collection


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