Monthly Archives: September 2013

Limbert No. 346 Build on

346 Magazine Shelf

The cutouts and sloping sides of Limbert’s No. 346 Magazine stand distinguish it from more pedestrian offerings from other makers.

To promote my new book, I’m contributing a series of posts to on building a simplified version of Limbert’s No. 346. This version has all the charm of the original, but it’s easier to build. The first post briefly discusses the design and modification and links to measured drawings and parts list for the project.

Limbert Furniture Design

An illustration from one of Limbert's booklets showing a library furnished with pieces by the company.

An illustration from one of Limbert’s booklets showing a library furnished with pieces by the company.

Limbert is often dismissed as a copyist of more capable designers, but at his best, he was a capable synthesist, combining diverse elements from European, American, and Japanese design into striking (and sometimes strikingly modern) forms. The sources for his inspiration are wide ranging. His earliest Arts and Craft line shows a debt to the architect Charles Voysey, Dutch folk forms, and Art Nouveau. The later line shows Limbert’s familiarity with the Craftsman furniture produced by Gustav Stickley, the Prairie Style of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the work of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Vienna Secessionists. The exposed joinery, rectilinear forms and visual mass of this furniture would not be out of place in the offerings of the many manufacturers responding to the increasing popularity of Craftsman furniture. Some of these designs match or exceed Stickley’s. Continue reading

Limbert Furniture Company


A drawing of the Holland factory from one of the company's booklets

A drawing of the Holland factory from one of the company’s booklets.

After years as a traveling salesman of furniture and a failed manufacturing partnership, Limbert founded the Charles P. Limbert furniture company in 1894 and spent the rest of the decade building it. By the turn of the century, his reputation as a furniture salesman was well established–the April 1901 Furniture Record called him the “furniture commission man.” That skill earned him several prominent contracts, including the Patlind Hotel in Grand Rapids, the Grand Canyon Hotel, the Mission Inn (Riverside, CA), and the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park. Continue reading

Charles P. Limbert

Charles Limbert

Charles Limbert (1854-1923) was as interested in the business of selling furniture as in advancing the ideals of the Arts & Crafts movement.

Limbert was born in Logansville, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Akron, Ohio. After a brief detour in the carriage trade, he followed his father into furniture sales. He began as a traveling salesman, working for different companies in the Midwest including Monk & Roberts and the John A. Colby Company. During this period, he met Philip Klingman, another salesman. The two agreed to represent each other’s wares, reducing the size of their territories. The agreement marks the beginning of an extended partnership and shows Limbert’s willingness to experiment with how he did business. Continue reading