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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Counterpoint

I was looking online at John Van Koert designs and stumbled upon an 80-piece mahogany and cherry furniture collection he designed for Drexel called Counterpoint, which I'd never seen before.


instappraisal.com


A little research turned up a 1956 Drexel ad for the line, so apparently it predates his Profile line for the same company.




I was completely smitten by this small dresser/chest when I found it on eBay.


Drexel Counterpoint chest
ebay.com - atomic-lipstick


...but not so much by this one, which seems a bit too traditional. If Van Koert had added the wing-like extensions to the large dresser, I would have loved it too.


Drexel Counterpoint dresser
modernlove20.com


I was surprised to see that Van Koert made only a few changes to the Counterpoint dining table and chairs and called it Profile in a later incarnation.


Drexel Counterpoint dining set
use.com


See how similar it is to the later Profile dining set? He did refine the design somewhat and make the dowels in the seat back much smaller.


My Drexel Profile dining set


Personally, I prefer the pulls on the Profile set. Their shape seems more modern and has more visual appeal to me.


Brass Counterpoint pulls
canadiandesignresource.ca

Silver Profile pulls
1stdibs.com


One final interesting find was a photo of a Counterpoint dresser in white, with an acid washed mirrored top. Although I know that Van Koert sometimes used interesting materials for the tops of his pieces, I thought at first that this might be a custom finish, but I eventually found another example from a different seller.


Drexel Counterpoint dresser in white lacquer with acid wash top
belvairformodernliving.1stdibs.com
Close-up of acid washed top
galleryvermillion.com

13 comments:

  1. I always learn so much on your blog. Of course I love that because it means I am smarter than everyone else and can gloat about that! Thanks for keeping me in fine gloating form.

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  2. That dresser with the wings is adorable.

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  3. @DearHelenHartman: I will attempt to live up to that praise. Would it up the intellectual value if I attempted to write a post or two in Latin? ;)

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  4. @Vintage Hunter: I love that dresser too. I'm seriously going to be on the lookout for one like it.

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  5. i love most of the drexel lines..their vintage designs are remarkable...i own a kipps dining and i just love the set to pieces

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  6. @Sudha: Are there pictures of it on your blog? I'd love to see it!

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  7. Great stuff as always. I'm still on the lookout for a Drexel Profile desk (the one with the stepped top). Had one on CL a while back, but it was in pretty rough shape.

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  8. @Nick: I have a Drexel Profile dining set with china cabinet, so I looked for a Profile desk for ages...the one with the white roll top. It seems like every single one I found was in horrible shape, so I finally gave up and bought the desk from my SIL that I posted about the other day.

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  9. Hello out there,
    I am struck with the similarity of Drexel's Dateline line (1956, I think) to Profile. The 7 Drawer dresser in particular is remarkably similar. Seems to be an identical drawer arrangement, but I dare to say that Dateline has a more sleek profile than Profile. Very similar legs that flair up into the body on the side like Profile, but also at the front. Top also flairs out in all directions not just the front like Profile. Beautiful wavy pulls. I'd put $ on it being Van Koert, but can't find any old adds to prove so and the pieces themselves are labeled with his name. An early small market test run of a seemingly more complicated version of Profile that he didn't want his name on as it was a test? (Wild extrapolation on my part I know, but it begs the question...anyone know a designer on Dateline?) Check out the old ad can't tell much as far as (leg) design similarities from the ad...much much easier in person, but may be a case for the small run theory. Pair I saw was a beautiful pair of bleached mahogany with brass pulls.

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    1. There's something about the Dateline series that looks like Drexel was trying to hedge their bets and keep some traditional elements...like the curvy front and the very traditional looking mirror that went with the dresser. I don't know who designed it, but I'd also be interested to know. I'd love to see some Dateline in person.

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    2. I manage to snag a dining room set in the Drexel Dateline line. Table with two leaves, four chairs and a china deck with three drawers under it. An amazing find (if that wasn't amazing enough!) was finding a full catalog in the hutch. The original owner was the late aunt of the EBay sellers. And the furniture moved 2 hours from Richmond to me in Va Beach. I'm thrilled :D

      *while the sales catalog does not name a designer (other than Drexel), it does show what pieces were made.

      I have my eye out for a matching desk & chair. :)

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    3. The more I look at the Profile line, the Counterpoint line, and the Dateline line, the more convinced I am that they are all variations of the same basic Van Koert design, but I don't know the chronology/back story.

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    4. I have been researching our dining room set and came across your blog. We own Drexel's Dateline line: dining room table with 3 leaves and 4 chairs, the sideboard (buffet), and a smaller sideboard with removable china cabinet. All have original hardware. From my research, it looks like the Profile (and maybe the Counterpoint) were made out of walnut while the Dateline is solid mahogany. Have you learned anything about the back story on these lines? Unfortunately, my set does not have a designer name on them, although I agree they all look like Van Koert designs. I would love to learn more and can send you pictures if you are interested! Thanks!

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