Natchez collection to gain new furniture

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 30, 2005

HIGH POINT, N.C. &8212; The Historic Natchez Collection will grow by 18 new pieces of furniture in summer 2006, Ronald W. Miller, executive director of the Historic Natchez Collection, said Thursday.

Miller, who is attending the International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, met with Tom Tilley, president of Henredon Furniture, and other Henredon representatives as part of the bi-annual get-together with the companies who manufacture pieces for the Natchez collection.

&8220;The new pieces will come out in what they call a mid-year introduction,&8221; Miller said. &8220;It&8217;s a good way to get a head start on the next fall market.&8221;

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The new pieces will be bedroom and living room pieces and will complement the classic Natchez pieces Henredon has manufactured under the auspices of the Foundation since 1989, when the Historic Natchez Collection first was introduced.

&8220;Tom Tilley said he wants what he calls &8216;signature&8217; pieces, detailed outstanding pieces,&8221; Miller said. &8220;He also said he wants the pieces to be classic, to be the kinds of furniture that will not go in and out of fashion but last for a long time.&8221;

An expansion of Natchez pieces by Henredon is especially good news because that company&8217;s sales provide nearly three-fourths of the royalties generated by the Historic Natchez Collection. Other items in the collection manufactured by other companies include porcelain, brass, mirrors, jewelry, crystal and architectural products, for example.

The furniture market, the largest of its kind in the world, brings more than 70,000 people to High Point twice a year, and Miller has been among them at each market since 1989. About a dozen companies take part in the Natchez program.

This week, he has met with numerous representatives of companies such as Henredon. One company, A Thing of Beauty, which has sold tole and brass accessories with the Natchez label, is going out of business, Miller said. &8220;That&8217;s a sad thing, but the company has not been able to make it.&8221;

The Natchez collection, consisting of furniture and decorative objects designed after or inspired by furnishings found in historic Natchez houses, is licensed by the Historic Natchez Foundation, which receives royalties on the sales. The collection has been developed with the cooperation of the Natchez Garden Club and Pilgrimage Garden Club.

Money received through the sale of Natchez collection pieces has been crucial to the continuing work of the Historic Natchez Foundation, Miller said.