The form of this rare settle model is based on a design by the English architect M.H. Baillie Scott, published in 1901. The designer Harvey Ellis, who worked for Stickley from May 1903 until his untimely death in January 1904, is thought to have adapted the form for Stickley's production; his illustrations for "An Urban House", in the Craftsman magazine of August 1903, show this settle in an interior elevation of the living room. Ellis also drew the design for a November 1903 Craftsman article, "A Note of Color". Recent research by David Cathers, however, has brought to light the identity of another possible designer, LaMont A. Warner. Warner's drawing of a miniature version of this settle for children appears in a June 1903 article in the Craftsman, "Housekeeping in Miniature", which pre-dates Ellis' first illustration by two months.
Stickley produced a few different versions of this form, including a cube armchair, a smaller settee (50.1/8in. in length), and a larger settee (78 in. in length). The settle offered above falls between these two, measuring 60 in. in length. The proportions of the vertical slats to the joining top rails in the 60 inch version of the design make it particularly successful.
The finely executed inlays of copper, pewter and exotic woods are an unusual and highly-sought after feature. The inlay employed in the above example features a scenic roundel repeated with variations on the backsplats and the inner and outer arms. The landscape scenes depicted are strongly reminiscent of the work of one of the most influential American artists and teachers of the day-Arthur Wesley Dow. Although long attributed to Ellis, the inlay patterns may also be the work of LaMont A. Warner. Two articles on Warner by David Cathers (see Style 1900, Vol. 9, No. 3 and Vol. 9, No. 4), have revealed the missing link between the Craftsman Workshops and Dow. Warner was a student of Dow's at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, before joining Stickley in 1900, and was later employed by him. Although junior to Ellis, he certainly made contributions to the Craftsman designs, and the patterns of the inlay, so obviously influenced by Dow, would suggest his hand.
cf. Leslie Bowman, American Arts & Crafts, Virtue in Design, 1990, p. 81 illustrates the 50 1/8in. version of this model.