skip to Main Content

Herter Brothers and Old World New York

One of the most successful champions of Aesthetic Movement design in America was the firm of Herter Brothers, active from 1864 to 1906 in New York City. Founded by German-born brothers Gustave and Christian Herter during the Gilded Age of luxury living in New York, Herter Brothers created posh, cosmopolitan interiors using materials such as ebonized wood with gilt and ivory inlay, velvet and silk upholstery and wall coverings, and ornately frescoed ceilings.

Drawing inspiration from historical sources such as Renaissance Revival, Neo-Grec, Eastlake and the Ebonized ‘Anglo-Japanese’ style, Herter Brothers was one of the first American firms to provide a customized, all-inclusive interior decoration service. With their own cabinetmaking and upholstery workshops, the firm provided every aspect of interior design, from furniture and woodwork, to floor treatment and drapery.

One of Herter Brothers’ crowning achievements was the decoration of the Fifth Avenue apartment of American  railway king William H. Vanderbilt. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “every room in the Vanderbilt mansion displayed lavish ornament and detail, the drawing room was the centerpiece of Herter Brothers’ unified vision. It embodied an eclectic-Assyrian revival theme with a crimson color palette, replete with gilding and reflective surfaces.”

By advocating designs that were both beautiful and functional in a time of wealth and opulence, Herter Brothers continue to be one of the most influential American design firms.

Our January 20 are Old World New York: A Collection at The Dakota sale offers several fine examples of Herter Brothers design.

Time & Location


Old Work New York: A Collection from The Dakota
Thursday, January 20 at 11am

Back To Top