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Monday, November 1, 2010

Let’s play Name That Designer!

What makes collecting mid-century pieces exciting to me is knowing there’s always an off chance I’m going to stumble upon an unbelievable bargain on a piece I recognize…or buy something cheap and later find out that it’s by a famous designer. Both things have happened to me often enough to keep me hooked.

A few years ago, I bought a beautiful oiled walnut credenza with a finished back for about $200, but it wasn’t marked, so I’ve never been able to make a definitive identification. I’ve always hoped to learn the origin of the piece eventually. All I know for sure is that it is identical in several details with Jens Risom pieces from the 1960s. If you know the designer or manufacturer, please share the information with me...or take a look at my comparison pictures and let me know what you think. Is it the real deal?

My credenza

Drawers of a Jens Risom credenza

Drawers of my credenza

Close-up of Risom pulls

Close-up of my pulls

Base, legs and feet of a Risom credenza

Base, legs and feet of my credenza

White laminate interior of a Risom credenza and glide hardware

Paper tag placement on a Risom credenza

White laminate interior, glide hardware and missing tag placement on my credenza

Then there are the deals on famous designer pieces that get you completely addicted to the I-can’t-believe-I-got-such-a-steal adrenaline rush.  A couple of years ago, I found two large, square Jens Risom tables on craigslist, with paper tags still attached, for $400.  I talked the seller into accepting $350 for the pair, which I intended to use together in lieu of a coffee table.  When I got them home, they were too big for the space, and I didn’t have another place to put them.  I resold one for more money than I had paid for the pair, making the remaining table something of a windfall, so I gave it to my daughter and son-in-law, who had just bought a 1950s house.

Jens Risom table at my daughter and son-in-law's house


  1. You sneaked in and took this picture didn't you? Didn't you?!!

  2. I told your wife I was taking it. :)~ And you didn't notice the door???