Flickr Widget

Friday, September 30, 2011

In the store: Big Bertha's home...along with a mighty large ship

My SIL and daughter brought home a trailer load of great things from Denver, including some pieces won at auction several weeks ago, the white Milo Baughman chair I included in a post about Craigslist finds not long ago, and several more things they located while they were there.

The Bertha Schaefer sofa is finally home, and with it is a large, signed C. Jere' ship.  I'll save two pieces of mirrored wall decor that appear to be in the style of Neal Small (but not confirmed as such yet), a Herman Miller tulip table, a pair of Tapio Wirkkala vases, a 41" architectural swung vase, the Baughman chair (plus two more he got from the same seller) and two Danish chairs for later posts, when my SIL has had time to photograph everything.

He says pictures don't do the sofa justice, and he's absolutely in love with the big ship!

The Bertha Schaefer sofa, in all her glory
Signed C. Jere' ship

Another new set on the floor is this teak dining table and four matching chairs with original blue velvet upholstery. They didn't come from Denver, but from a local auction.

Teak gateleg table and four chairs

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The ABCs of good design

Have a little one with whom you'd like to share your love of the mid-century aesthetic? Here's just what you need to teach the alphabet and the top designers.

Both posters by Blue Ant Studio

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Paul Tuttle

Paul Tuttle
Paul Tuttle (1918-2002) was born in Springfield, Missouri, and live in St. Louis until World War II. He was an Air Force cartographer and was stationed in India, where the architecture influenced his decision to pursue a career in design.

He studied at the Art Center School in Los Angeles (now Art Center College of Design in Pasadena). His talent captured the attention of Alvin Lustig, and he worked for a short time in Lustig's studio. He also apprenticed with architects Welton Becket and Thornton Ladd. In 1949 he participated in Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesen West Fellowship in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In 1951 his handmade wood table was included in the Good Design exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1958 Tuttle became the design consultant for a Swiss pharmaceutical company, and from then on, he maintained dual careers in Europe and Santa Barbara, California. In the 1960s he designed houses in the Santa Barbara area but earned his greatest acclaim for furniture designs in sculpted wood and geometric stainless steel. From 1968 to 1983, he was a designer for Strässle International, a Swiss furniture manufacturer, where he was encouraged to experiment with new materials and technologies.

By the mid-1960s Tuttle had earned a retrospective exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum. In 1966 he won the prestigious Carson Pirie Scott Young Designer Award for his widely acclaimed Z Chair. In 1982 he received a design grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Tuttle's archives, including some drawings, manuscripts and selected pieces of furniture, will be kept at the Architecture and Design Collection of UC Santa Barbara's University Art Museum.

From and
Arco chair
Desk/game table
Same desk as above, with 3 extensions pulled out for use as game table
Molded plastic and chrome side chair for Straessle
Coffee table
Z chair
Nonna chair
I found this photo and had to include it.
Tuttle was descibed by one person as "impish,"
and this image captures that quality.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Marbro Lamp Company

The Marbro Lamp Company was started in Los Angeles by Morris Markoff and his brother shortly after World War II. Their lamps were sold through interior decorators and exclusive furniture stores. Most were one-of-a-kind and took 75 to 90 days to complete.

For the most part, the lamp bodies were not made on-site. The company procured alabaster and handblown glass bodies from Italy, porcelain from Japan and China, brass from India and crystal from Germany and France. Lamps were also made from sculptures provided by customers.

Once the lamp bodies arrived at the plant, Marbro employees made the bases and shades. Marbro wanted only the most experienced artisans, so most workers were 50 years of age or older. This unique group of talented craftsmen created extremely high quality pieces that sold for as much as $4000.

Because of the company's history and the quality of their product, Marbro lamps are highly collectible today.

From and

Monday, September 26, 2011

Baumritter Corporation

Theodore Baumritter and his brother-in-law Nathan C. Ancell started a housewares company in 1932, making plaster gnomes, trellises and garden swings. Three years later, they paid $25,000 for a bankrupt furniture factory in Beecher Falls, Vermont, and began manufacturing furniture. In 1939 the company introduced a line of "Early American" furniture they called Ethan Allen.

By 1962, Baumritter and Ancell owned 14 furniture factories in the East. By the middle of the 1960's, the Baumritter Corporation had the largest group of furniture in the world, with a 1,600-piece line to choose from. They also had stores by that time in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Australia, and Canada. In 1970, Baumritter retired, and Ancell took over the company. In 1972, The Baumritter Corporation officially changed its name to Ethan Allen Industries.

Viko was the Baumritter Corporation's modern line, which was produced in the 1950s and 1960s. There were only around 150 pieces in the modern line. Many of the upholstered pieces had reversible cushions.

From and

Baumritter chairs in our store

Side view of our Baumritter chairs

Reversible cusions - stripe and solid

Danish style lounge chair

Swivel chairs

Club chair - AtwoodVintage

Danish style lounge chairs

Swivel chairs


Lacquered desk

Sunday, September 25, 2011

John Nyquist

John Nyquist
John Nyquist (1936- ) is the son of first-generation Swedish-Americans. He was raised in South Dakota and moved to Long Beach, California, when his father returned from World War II. He studied art and industrial design at California State University. He taught at California State University Long Beach and then at Cerritos College.

Nyquist began his career in furniture design in 1959. He found early clients through architects, construction firms and private patrons who saw his work in the "California Design" shows, 13 influential exhibitions at the Pasadena Art Museum, now the Norton Simon.

Nyquist favors materials such as Brazilian rosewood and Makassar ebony. He uses richly colored wool fabric by Jack Lenor Larsen. He sometimes uses leather from Connolly, a British firm that did the interiors of Rolls-Royces and Jaguars.

Nyquist says he was influenced by Shaker and Scandinavian furniture, the sculpture of Henry Moore and the craftsmanship of Green & Greene's Gamble House. His furniture is characterized by the frequent use of contrasting woods, exposed joinery and the lack of varnish.

Like fellow Californian Sam Maloof, Nyquist became part of the "California Roundover Movement" that was pioneered by Charles and Henry Greene. These woodworkers sculpted the edge of a tabletop or the arm of a chair to soften hard right angles with curved and sloping lines.

From and

Walnut and leather armchairs

Rosewood hutch

Magazine rack

 Chaise à bascule

Saturday, September 24, 2011

In the store: A little Danish, a little American and a lot of style

This week's additions to the store are three credenzas, a 9-foot Milo Baughman sofa and a chrome and glass coffee table.

One of the credenzas is a Danish beauty manufactured by H. P. Hansen that was purchased in 1972 and still looks brand new. Another is teak with unusual silver pulls and interesting detailing on the doors. The third just received a beautiful professional two-tone finish from mid-century miracle worker Hank Tosh at Toshmahal.

The Milo Baughman sofa has chrome legs and pale gray upholstery. The chrome and glass coffee table has a brand new top and looks like it was made for the sofa.

Newly refinished two-tone credenza
Teak credenza with unusual silver pulls
H. P. Hansen credenza, circa 1972
9' Milo Baughman sofa
Chrome and glass coffee table

Update: The two-tone credenza flew out of the store almost as fast as we got it on the floor. Score one for Hank Tosh and his great refinishing job!

Friday, September 23, 2011

In praise of the poster

I thought I outgrew posters as art several decades back, but these are too cool to pass up. Here's more mid-century goodness from Blue Ant Studio. I wouldn't mind having a whole wall full of these...but nowadays I'd spring for custom framing with some sort of snazzy matting instead of using the thumbtacks of my hippie pad youth.

Eames + Nelson
Saarinen + Poulsen/Henningsen
Eames LCW
TWA Saarinen

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mine, all mine

My SIL sells vintage stereos almost as quickly as he can get them into the store, so when I saw this vintage Curtis Mathes at an estate sale the other day, I picked it up for $100. While most of the stereos we sell in the store have a lids that lift, this one has a solid top. The tambour doors in the front slide open to reveal the radio and Garrard turntable, all in working order.

As it turned out, my daughter and I really liked it, but he prefers something with a little more Danish or German look. I decided to keep it for myself...because I have a soft spot for tambour doors, and I love that I can put my TV on top. It is now at home in the grandsons' playroom, and everyone is happy.

I listed my smaller, blonde credenza on Craigslist, and it's already generating some interest.

My new stereo/TV stand :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Paul McCobb lamp

Not long ago, my SIL was contacted by someone who wanted to sell him a Paul McCobb Model 2014 table lamp, which was manufactured by Northcraft Lighting Company. The lamp is made of black enameled steel and walnut, and the shades swivel. The design is very simple, yet timeless and elegant.

Naturally, he he was thrilled to have the opportunity to buy such an amazing piece...and, just as naturally, it sold very quickly. Who could resist this lamp?