I'm no furniture critic but Shaker and Mission are very much different
design styles and the differnece is rather dramatic. Just put a
classic, taper-legged shaker end table next to a mission style end
table and the styling difference will be obvious. Pictures are worth
thousands of words here. I suggest checking google or dogpile image
search on the 2 keywords and you'll get a good idea pretty quickly.
Shaker is light and simple elegant typically cherry country furniture; from
the same folks who gave us the song "Tis a gift to be simple tis a gift to
be free, tis a gift to come down where we ought to be."
Mission is heavy usually quartersawn white oak, midwestern Arts & Farts
response to the vulgar designs of the Victorian age.
Typical shaker chair might have clean turned legs, ladder back, cloth taped
seat, a lady can carry it with one hand. Typical mission chair looks like
it was built by a bricklayer, heavy fumed white oak stretchers and splats,
requires two men and a boy to move it.
IMHO Shaker is a more simple looking design and tends to look lighter
weight and the chairs tend to have a lot of spindles. Mission looks
heavier, a little more complex visually, and typically built with Oak.
I would like to try something in the Greene and Greene style. I would not
use an abundance of inlays though. It is a compromise between Mission (aka
Craftsman, Stickley, and such) and Shaker. I'm not implying that there is
Shaker influence in G&G. I find Craftsman style to be a little heavy for my
taste, but I have a strong respect for the style and there are pieces I
like. I tend to like the pieces done in cherry.
Chalk and cheese. The purposes are different, the philosophies are
different, and there's a century between the manufacturing techniques.
Google knows the rest, as do books by Christian Becksvoort (Shaker) and
Stickley himself or Bavaro & Mossman (Craftsman) or a few others for
general Mission. best of all is Mayer & Gray's "In the Arts & Crafts
Style", but that's hard to find.
Avoid books by Norm or Thomas Moser.
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