SAARINEN, PEARSALL, AND KARPEN OF CALIFORNIA, OH MY!!

Wow! This week our new offerings are nothing short of spectacular, if I do say so myself. There is not a pig in a poke in the bunch. Well maybe a pig; but, not in a poke! We have a Saarinen style Tulip Table, most likely by Burke; an Adrian Pearsall low table; a Karpen of California Horn Chair; a current production (but this one is pre-owned) Thayer Coggin swivel chair done in the style of Milo Baughman, at least I can’t find anywhere that it was actually designed by him, but it is in their Milo Baughman collection; and a charming terracotta almost life-size pig planter.

 

Saarinen Style Tulip Base Table in Aluminum with Woodgrain Laminate TopFirst, we will focus on the tulip style table. It was originally designed by Eero Saarinen while he was working for Knoll Associates and made its debut in 1958. Saarinen’s goal when designing his infamous “Pedestal Collection” was to “clear up the slum of legs in the U.S. home” which meant lessening the confusion of legs beneath the typical dining table and chairs. His inspiration for the base itself was a drop of high viscosity liquid or like paint being poured from a can. You can see just that by the slender tapering of the pedestal base that “pools” like liquid at the foot. It became an immediate classic. This table is a vintage knock-off of that design most likely produced by Burke, Inc., and has become collectable in its own right. If only for the awesome fact that the swivel base on the chair produced by Burke was used on the set of none other than Star Trek! There are subtle differences in the original Knoll production and the Burke knock-off. The Knoll table is much more slender and sleek, and you will find no visual point of attachment of the table top to the base. The Burke version, as with most other knock-offs of this series, has a much chunkier base and the screws can be seen on the underside which attach the base to the table top. This splendid example with its polished aluminum base and faux wood laminate top we believe to be Burke so………….beam us up Scottie! Click here to see listing.

 

 

Adrian Pearsall Walnut and Glass Sculptural Cocktail Table for Craft AssociatesNext let’s talk about Adrian Pearsall and his low coffee table. This stunning table is the epitome of Adrian Pearsall mid-century modern design! Its sculptural walnut base, so reminiscent of Noguchi’s famous coffee table, has become famous itself. Comprised of four abstract but symmetrical legs which connect to form a square base that holds a magnificent piece of ¾ inch thick glass. This table was designed circa 1960s by Pearsall’s own company, Craft Associates. Adrian Pearsall graduated in 1950 from the University of Illinois with an Architectural Engineering degree and in 1952 founded Craft Associates to manufacture his own designs, which trumpeted in the Atomic Age and have now become mid-century modern design icons. Pearsall sold Craft Associates to Lane in 1968 and went on to launch Comfort Designs in the 1970s. By the late 1970s Lane had closed Craft Associates for good; but, thanks to Adrian’s children, Restoration Hardware now holds the license to his name and designs. They have some of his pieces in current production; however, collecting of his vintage pieces is rampant. If you think you have one, it is easy to authenticate. You may contact his family at jpearsall1282@comcast.net. Send them photos and pay $50 and they will give you a certificate of authentication. Thankfully though, for most of his unique designs, this is not necessary as they are unmistakably from the mind of Adrian Pearsall. Click here for listing.

MCM Karpen of California Horn ChairThird in a line of incredible mid-century modern icons we are offering, but definitely not third in desirability or design distinction, is this fabulous “Horn Chair” by Karpen of California.  And, wow! Just wow! Talk about the epitome of Atomic….Biomorphic…..Mid-Century Modern design, and this is the image that should come to mind. Produced by Karpen of California furniture manufacturers and touted as the Karpen Chair-of-Tomorrow from the Chair-Foam Collection. One of the vintage print ads for this chair states “These new chairs aren’t actually built…they’re poured”. Another says “The Karpen Chair-of-Tomorrow is made in a revolutionary new way!” And yet another states “You’re suspended in, supported by, surrounded by Pure Foam….never before, such comfort!” These revolutionary chairs were made by pouring and molding pure foam around an all steel frame. A period newspaper article titled Test Tube Chair, states that the new manufacturing technique was developed for Karpen, a division of Schnadig Corp, by The General Tire and Rubber Company, a pioneer in polyurethane cushioning field. However, how the chair is made and feels, is NOT what has made it the Mid-Century Modern icon that it is, but how that process has allowed the fantastic biomorphic shape with its soft edges, curves, and rounded corners, that seem to float on the splayed conical legs comprised of gorgeous walnut and adorned with silver-tone sabots. All the details combine to make this modern design spectacular. Our offering here needs some new upholstery or, if you are like me and don’t mind a little “patina”, you can leave it as is. Click here for listing.

 

Thayer Coggin 1086 Zac Swivel Lounge Chair White and Satin NickelFourth is a chair by Thayer Coggin that is in current production (this one is pre-owned). Handsome and done in the style of Milo Baughman, this chair is not only a delight for the eyes it is oh so comfortable and it swivels!! Comprised of a satin nickel base and arms with tight seat and back upholstered in a wool-like off-white fabric. The arms are one piece flat-bar style metal that curve down to the swivel base, around the back and are topped with upholstered arm caps. This chair evokes Baughman’s relaxed and timeless design and possesses Thayer Coggin’s name and reputation for exceptional quality construction. I could go on and on about Baughman and Thayer Coggin but I’ll same them for another time. Click here for listing.

 

Terracotta Pig Planter Pot Near Life-SizeAnd last is our pig, not in a poke! What a handsome guy we have here! Comprised of terracotta with an open back to act as a planter and near life-size. He has awesome character and patina. My sister brought him back from Mexico on one of her excursions there with her late husband and the sweetest most loving brother she could have given her little sister (but that’s another story for another time!) and be believe made sometime in the 20th century. She likes to hit all the “junk shops” just like me! Although designed to hold flowers or plants, I’ve displayed him in our showroom as a centerpiece on a dining table filled with fruit and/or veggies or decorative objects. He makes quite a statement that way. Click here for listing.

 

OK, I’m done for this week. Come back. And in the meantime…….enjoy your life and your home!! Chris

 

 

 

 

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