Belter, John Henry

Belter, John Henry
orig. Johann Heinrich Belter

born 1804, Germany
died 1863, New York, N.Y., U.S.

German-born U.S. cabinetmaker and designer.

Trained in Germany, he settled in New York City in 1833. He opened a fashionable shop specializing in rosewood, walnut, and mahogany furniture. In 1854 he patented his invention of processing rosewood in many layers to achieve thin panels that, once shaped in molds through steam heating, could be finely carved. He opened a large factory in 1858, but soon competitive French imports and economic troubles associated with the American Civil War impaired his business, and the firm closed in 1867.

* * *

▪ American cabinetmaker
original name  Johann Heinrich Belter  
born 1804, Hilter, near Osnabrück [Germany]
died Oct. 15, 1863, New York, N.Y., U.S.

      cabinetmaker and designer known for his superb Victorian Rococo pieces.

      Belter served as a cabinetmaker's apprentice in Württemberg (now in Germany), where he was trained in the Black Forest tradition of rich carving so admired during the 19th century. Settling in New York City in 1833, he married and opened a fashionable shop on Broadway. Although he also worked in walnut and mahogany, his favourite material was rosewood (then popular in the United States), with which he experimented. In 1856 he received one of a total of four patents for his method of processing laminated rosewood in many layers to achieve thin panels that, once shaped in molds through steam heating, were finely carved. This rather personal Louis XV revival style, a somewhat heavy, florid Rococo called zweites Rokoko, succeeded the uniquely Neoclassical and functional Biedermeier period created in his homeland (and the Empire style imported by Duncan Phyfe to New York) and reflected the more nostalgic tastes then evolving in Europe.

      The large factory Belter opened in New York City in 1858 employed many apprentices; and his furniture became known for its rich carving, handsome brocades, and bold asymmetry. Competitive French imports that were esteemed by the elite, together with economic problems attending the American Civil War (1861–65), impaired his business; production continued for a while after his death, but the firm failed completely in 1867.

Additional Reading
Marvin D. Schwartz, Edward J. Stanek, and Douglas K. True, The Furniture of John Henry Belter and the Rococo Revival, 2nd ed. (2000).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Belter, John Henry — orig. Johann Heinrich Belter (1804, Alemania–1863, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Ebanista y diseñador estadounidense nacido en Alemania. Se formó en Alemania y se estableció en la ciudad de Nueva York en 1833. Abrió una elegante tienda especializada …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • john — /jon/, n. Slang. 1. a toilet or bathroom. 2. (sometimes cap.) a fellow; guy. 3. (sometimes cap.) a prostitute s customer. [generic use of the proper name] * * * I known as John Lackland born Dec. 24, 1167, Oxford, Eng. died Oct. 18/19, 1216,… …   Universalium

  • John — /jon/, n. 1. the apostle John, believed to be the author of the fourth Gospel, three Epistles, and the book of Revelation. 2. See John the Baptist. 3. (John Lackland) 1167? 1216, king of England 1199 1216; signer of the Magna Carta 1215 (son of… …   Universalium

  • henry — /hen ree/, n., pl. henries, henrys. Elect. the SI unit of inductance, formally defined to be the inductance of a closed circuit in which an electromotive force of one volt is produced when the electric current in the circuit varies uniformly at a …   Universalium

  • Henry — /hen ree/, n. 1. Joseph, 1797 1878, U.S. physicist. 2. O., pen name of William Sydney Porter. 3. Patrick, 1736 99, American patriot, orator, and statesman. 4. Cape, a cape in SE Virginia at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. 5. Fort. See …   Universalium

  • Henry — ► sustantivo masculino ELECTRICIDAD Denominación del henrio en la nomenclatura internacional. IRREG. plural henrys * * * henrio o henry (de J. Henry, físico inglés) m. Fís. Unidad de inductancia eléctrica en el Sistema Internacional. * * * …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • henry — ► sustantivo masculino ELECTRICIDAD Denominación del henrio en la nomenclatura internacional. IRREG. plural henrys * * * henrio o henry (de J. Henry, físico inglés) m. Fís. Unidad de inductancia eléctrica en el Sistema Internacional. * * * henry …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • John — (as used in expressions) Abbot, Sir John (Joseph Caldwell) Acton (de Aldenham), John Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton, 1 barón Adams, John Adams, John (Coolidge) Adams, John Quincy Alden, John Altgeld, John Peter André, John Arden, John Ashbery,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • furniture — furnitureless, adj. /ferr ni cheuhr/, n. 1. the movable articles, as tables, chairs, desks or cabinets, required for use or ornament in a house, office, or the like. 2. fittings, apparatus, or necessary accessories for something. 3. equipment for …   Universalium

  • Bob Vila — Infobox actor name = Bob Vila imagesize = caption = birthname = Robert J. Vila birthdate = birth date and age|1946|06|20 location = Miami, Florida, U.S. othername = homepage = academyawards = spouse = Robert J. Bob Vila (born June 20, 1946) is an …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”