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Notes: Rare jewelry box with applied brass decoration, diamond finial, and Etruscan green finish
Manufacturer History: Roycroft was a reformist community of craft workers and artists which formed part of the Arts and Crafts movement in the United States. Elbert Hubbard founded the community in 1895 in the village of East Aurora, Erie County, New York, near Buffalo. Participants were known as Roycrofters. The work and philosophy of the group, often referred to as the Roycroft movement, had a strong influence on the development of American architecture and design in the early 20th century.
The name "Roycroft" was chosen after the printers, Samuel and Thomas Roycroft, who made books in London from about 1650-1690. The word directly translates as "King's Craft". In guilds of early modern Europe, king's craftsmen were guild members who had achieved a high degree of skill and therefore made things for the King. The Roycroft insignia was borrowed from the monk Cassiodorus, a 13th-century bookbinder and illuminator.
Elbert Hubbard had been influenced by the ideas of William Morris on a visit to England. He was unable to find a publisher for his book Little Journeys, so inspired by Morris's Kelmscott Press, decided to set up his own private press to print the book himself, founding Roycroft Press.
His championing of the Arts and Crafts approach attracted a number of visiting craftspeople to East Aurora, and they formed a community of printers, furniture makers, metalsmiths, leathersmiths, and bookbinders. The inspirational leadership of Hubbard attracted a group of almost 500 people by 1910, and millions more knew of him through his essay A Message to Garcia.
A hotel was built to house the ever increasing number of visitors. The inn had to be furnished so Hubbard had local craftsmen make a simple, straight lined style of furniture. The furniture became popular with visitors who wished to buy pieces for their homes. A furniture manufacturing industry was then born. In addition, Roycroft craftspeople were skilled metalsmiths, leathersmiths, and bookbinders.
In 1915 Hubbard and his wife, noted suffragist Alice Moore Hubbard, died in the sinking of RMS Lusitania, and the Roycroft community went into a gradual decline. Following Elbert's death, his son Bert took over the business. In attempts to keep his father's business afloat, Bert proposed selling Roycroft's furniture through major retailers. Sears & Roebuck eventually agreed to carry the furniture, but this was only a short lived success.
Item created by: nmwhite997 on 2016-07-08 06:57:40. Last edited by nmwhite997 on 2016-07-08 09:58:07
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