Every so often we still acquire a piece of hickory furniture that we had seen pictured in vintage catalogs, but had yet to find on the market. This little stand had caught our eye in the 1935 Old Hickory Furniture Company catalog because it is one of just a few Old Hickory end and side table designs that included a drawer. We are pleased to finally have an example of this particular form to offer for sale.
This stand was produced within a special series of furniture introduced in 1935 that mixed hickory pole frames with distressed pine which, as the catalog relates, “lends its mellow charm to most cases and tables.” To increase the pine’s mellow surface character, workers at the Old Hickory factory distressed (or “antiqued”) the soft wood using chains and nails to impart the impression of a history of use.
The physical design of the pine and hickory furniture series also had a historical character, reflecting consumers’ interest in Colonial revival forms during the 1930s. An entertaining sales pitch and aesthetic rationale for these designs was spelled out in the introduction to the 1935 Old Hickory catalog:
The files of Early Americana and a wide observation in the peasant districts of Europe have afforded many inspirations for the quaint, authentic and ‘true to type’ patterns shown in Old Hickory’s new groupings of rustic furniture…The details of a century-gone craftsmanship, the homely old materials, rope, leather, pine, square-headed nails, have all been faithfully used…There is, in these new patterns, relief from the jangle of cities and the standardized forms of today so wearisome to nerves and eyes. They carry you back to wind-swept prairies, deep primeval forests, and last and best of all, the men and women who faced this wilderness, axe in hand, with which to new a home.