|Copper Top Washstand - 1904
(Arts & Crafts / Mission Style)
The rod at the top, then
as now, held towels and
washcloths. A pitcher
and washbasin were
kept on the table top,
while the bottom was
used for chamber pots
(see postcard at right).
The washstand shown
in the recent photo at left
still has its original
green finish and copper
top, and measures
about 42" wide X 18"
deep X 42" high.
(Postcard: Detroit Publishing)
THIS COPPER TOP washstand, made of ash,
was one of the original 1904 furnishings
chosen by architect Robert Reamer for the
Old Faithful Inn. Washstands like this are
still in use today in some rooms of the "Old
House" (oldest) section of the Inn.
THIS WASHSTAND, part of the original 1904 furnishings of the Old Faithful Inn, is in the style of Charles Limbert, one of America's
most important producers of quality Arts and Crafts furniture. What many call Mission Style furniture was introduced in 1901 by
Gustav Stickley, the founder of the Arts and Craft movement in America. Mission Style is known for its stress on simple
unornamented designs, a rejection of the clutter of the Victorian era. At the time the Old Faithful Inn was completed in 1904,
Mission Style was very popular in America and fit in perfectly with the fashionably upscale yet rustic atmosphere Robert Reamer
envisioned for his architectural masterpiece at Yellowstone.
The son of a furniture dealer, Charles Limbert began as a salesman in the trade, then in 1894 opened a furniture factory in Grand
Rapids, Michigan--a town that became known as "Furniture City." The factory reached its peak in 1904-1906, producing furniture
influenced by Stickley and by the Dutch Arts & Crafts style. In the early years of the business, Limbert continued to act as a
furniture agent for manufactures such as Old Hickory of Martinsville, Indiana--suppliers of the original rustic chairs selected for the
Inn's dining room.
Interest in the Arts and Crafts movement ended with the onset of World War I, and Limbert's last Arts & Craft style furniture was
produced in 1918. His factory continued manufacturing other styles of furniture until it closed in 1944.
IN THE 1980s, Mission Style furniture became highly collectible and once again fashionable--a trend which continues today. In
February 1999, and again in December 2000, Limbert copper top washstands originally from the Old Faithful Inn, identical to the
one shown above, sold for $6,500 (Treadway Gallery, Cincinnati) and $6000 (Treadway, Chicago), respectively. To view these
items and related auction information on the Web, click here for Feb. 1999 auction and click here for Dec. 2000 auction.