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Gustaf Herter’s Secretaire from 1894

In the heart of Brooklyn, nestled within the history-laden walls of a home that witnessed the tales of generations, resides a unique and storied piece of furniture—a Gustaf Herter Secretaire. This elegant treasure, bestowed as a dowry upon a young couple in 1894, has gracefully stood witness to the passage of time, bringing with it a narrative that intertwines with the rich tapestry of Brooklyn’s past. Join us on a journey through the corridors of history as we explore the tale behind this exquisite secretaire, dated circa 1858-1864, a true rarity with its original surface. In the late 19th century, as a young couple embarked on the journey of marriage, a remarkable gift adorned their new home in Brooklyn—a Gustaf Herter Secretaire. Passed down as a dowry, this piece of furniture became an integral part of their domestic story, witnessing the joys, sorrows, and everyday life of a family in the burgeoning city.

Herter Brothers | Antiquarian Traders "Guide to Antiques"

Fast forward to the present day, and this Gustaf Herter Secretaire has found its way into new hands, bringing with it a sense of continuity and a connection to the past. For the current owner, the discovery of this rarity was serendipitous, a stroke of luck that has allowed the piece to find a new home and continue its journey through time. One of the remarkable features of this secretaire is its pristine original surface, a testament to the craftsmanship and care invested in its creation. The delicate patina that has developed over the years tells a story of a bygone era, preserving the authenticity of the piece and providing a tangible link to the craftsmanship of Gustaf Herter.

Herter Brothers | Library Table | American | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Brooklyn Museum, renowned for its commitment to preserving and showcasing art and artifacts, has attributed this exquisite secretaire to Gustave Herter. The recognition from such a esteemed institution adds another layer of significance to the piece, acknowledging its place within the broader context of art and history.

While the allure of such a rare and historically significant piece might tempt many, the current owner holds this Gustaf Herter Secretaire dear and has declared it not for sale. The decision to keep this treasure within the family speaks to the emotional value attached to heirlooms that have weathered the years, accumulating stories and memories. As we marvel at the Gustaf Herter Secretaire that journeyed from a dowry in 1894 to its current home, we are reminded of the enduring power of objects to transcend time. This piece, with its original surface and rich history, stands as a testament to craftsmanship, heritage, and the interwoven stories of lives lived. It continues to be a cherished presence, linking the past to the present and promising to weave its narrative into the tapestry of future generations.

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