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The contents of someone’s bookcase are part of his history


“The contents of someone’s bookcase are part of his history, like an ancestral portrait.”

  • Anatole Broyard (1920-1990), American Writer and Literary Critic.

If you’re looking for antique bookcases from the Arts & Crafts or the Mission Period, or an authentic Gustav Stickley, look no further than Joe Nevo, the leading Pennsylvania based seller of antique mission furniture.

In this article, we tell you all you need to know about authentic antique bookcases.

Why Buy an Antique Bookcase?

If you are a voracious book reader, you will want to have a classy antique bookcase to showcase your outstanding book collection.

Where else to keep your old classics such as Robinson Crusoe, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, Lord of the Rings and Treasure Island than a lovely Gustav Stickley bookcase?

Joe Nevo is proud to offer a range of antique bookcases made from various wood tones and finishes, ranging from light to dark. You can use these bookcases add a touch of class to your restoration project.

They are also a great way to declutter your house and add visual appeal to your living space. Our bookcases showcase the best of Arts & Crafts,  Mission Period and Gustav Stickley styles. They come in a range of compositions such as pine, walnut, wood, metal, glass, oak, mahogany and brass.

History of Bookcases

The first printed book was published in the 15th century shortly after the invention of the printing press. The books of those days were generally used for religious purposes. It was only much later, in the 17th and 18th century that people first started to read books for pleasure.

The bookcases of those days were very heavy and made from the thickest of woods. Freestanding bookcases were pretty popular in 17th century Europe. The bookcases evolved over time, and in the 18th century, the first bookcase desk and secretaire were developed. By the 19th century, bookcases were commonly available.

Types of Antique Bookcases

The antique bookcases that you can buy today in the marketplace come from three periods – the Arts and Crafts movement of Europe, the American Arts & Crafts movement started by Gustav Stickley and the Mission Period.

The Arts & Crafts movement emerged in Britain in the 19th century as a reaction to the Industrial Revolution. This movement had a strong influence on craftsmen and designers of those days.

The Arts & Crafts movement stood for traditional craftsmanship that made use of simple forms from the medieval and romantic era and emphasized ethnic or folk styles of decoration.

We have a range of bookcases from the Arts & Crafts period such as the Antique Arts And Crafts Hale Barrister Bookcase W1893 that costs $790.

The Mission Period refers to a style of furniture that grew out of the Arts and Crafts movement. We have many bookcases from the Mission Period, such as the Great Antique Mission Arts & Crafts Bookcase W2613 that costs $1200.

Of particular interest are the Gustav Stickley bookcases that were born out of the American Art & Craft movement that was very popular in the early 20th century. The legendary Gustav Stickley (1858-1942) was the man behind this new style of furniture design which merged the traditional form, function, and craft.

At Joe Nevo, we have an eclectic collection of Gustav Stickley bookcases such as the Superb Antique “Gustav Stickley” Bookcase With Leaded Glass W3386 that costs $9,500.

This bookcase has a tenon construction and an original fume black finish. It is crafted in the Harvey Ellis design and still has all of its original shelves. It has the authentic red decal mark of Gustav Stickley.

If you would like to know more about our Gustav Stickley bookcases or any of our antique furniture, feel free to walk into our Pennsylvania shop. You may also call us at 570-743-1335 or shoot an email to

Meanwhile, have a look at our catalogue of antique bookcases!


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