Eastlake Furniture Was Made in the Victorian Era

By Anne McCollam

October 19, 2018 4 min read

Q: This is a photo of an antique settee that I have. It has casters on all four legs. The frame is in very good shape but needs to be reupholstered. I think the wood is walnut.

What can you tell me about my settee?

A: You have an Eastlake period settee. Most settees had two matching side chairs. The Eastlake period of design lasted from 1870 to 1890 and was one of the many Victorian Era substyles. It was named for English designer and reformer Charles Eastlake. His views were a reaction to the heavy dark furniture of the mid-19th century. Eastlake railed against all the extravagant ornate curved lines of earlier Rococo and Renaissance Revival Victorian furniture. His book, "Hints on Household Taste" became popular in the United States. It wasn't long before American factories began making furniture with rectilinear lines, incised carving and stylized decorations. The turned legs with castors, canted back legs, padded arms, incised carving, back cushions framed with straight uprights between a decorative center and incised carved top rails with shallow floral carving are typical of Eastlake factory made furniture. Walnut was usually the manufacturer choice of wood. Nonetheless, a variety of woods were used.

Your circa-1870 settee would probable fetch $400 in an antiques shop.

Q: This mark is on the bottom of an antique cast-iron Dutch oven that I have. Included with the mark are the words "Patented — 1920 — Tite — Top — No. 09 — 2552 — Erie PA — USA." It has been in our family for several generations. It originally belonged to my grandmother. I still use it and make pot roast in it with the recipe that both my mother and grandmother used. My daughter asked for the recipe, and I told her I would not only give her the recipe but the Dutch oven, too.

A: The Griswold Manufacturing Co. made your Dutch oven. It was located in Erie, Pennsylvania, from 1865 to 1950. Griswold registered the patent in 1920. The number "2552" is the model number, and "09" refers to the size. Griswold Manufacturing made cast-iron waffle irons, pots, Dutch ovens, roasters, kettles and skillets in several sizes. Some believe the term "Dutch oven" originated in the colonial era. There were traveling Dutch salesmen who sold their cast-iron pots that were made in Holland. The sturdy and virtually indestructible pans were used by colonists, pioneers, mountain men and cooks with cattle drives in the early days of the West. Just about everyone from pioneers to current times had a Dutch oven.

Your Dutch oven can be found on the internet selling for $35 to $100.

 Eastlake furniture was made from 1870 to 1890.
Eastlake furniture was made from 1870 to 1890.
 Griswold Manufacturing Co. was located in Erie, Pennsylvania.
Griswold Manufacturing Co. was located in Erie, Pennsylvania.

Address your questions to Anne McCollam, P. O. Box 247, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Items of a general interest will be answered in this column. Due to the volume of inquiries, she cannot answer individual letters. To find out more about Anne McCollam and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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