Sturdy Investments

The simple charm of Arts and Crafts furniture continues to grow In both appeal and value.

April 2003

Twenty years ago, a Morris chair designed by Gustav Stickley could be had for just $500. Today, that same chair would fetch $10,000. Not many stocks made it through the dot-com boom showing that kind of appreciation.

Of course, the appeal of Arts and Crafts furniture goes beyond the purely financial. For more than a decade, this so-called “mission-style” furniture has enjoyed a huge resurgence in popularity. So much so that nearly every major furniture maker now has a full line of knockoffs.

Though “mission” and “Arts and Crafts” are often used interchangeably, the terms aren’t synonymous. Arts and Crafts is the broader term, referring to a brief, but highly important design movement that began in Europe and quickly spread to the United States in the early 20th century. (Mission refers to the U.S. movement.) Arts and Crafts rejected the ornate Victorian style in favor of simple, clean designs.