Showing posts from February, 2010

A Tale of Two Chairs (or Paul McCobb vs. Clifford Pascoe)

Early in my collecting career I bought what I thought was a Paul McCobb Bentwood and Iron side chair. I was ecstatic! It was an amazing bargain at only $65.00.
Obviously the fellow I was purchasing it from didn't know what he had. He even tried to convince me that it was not by McCobb.
But I Knew Better!
Later on I learned just how little I actually knew and that what I had so vehemently thought was a Paul McCobb chair very clearly wasn't by Paul McCobb at all. I didn't know who it had been designed by, but I decided that I was going to find out. This was an important part of the long chain of events that ultimately led to my Paul McCobb research project.
Now on with our article...
Paul McCobb designed Planner Group Chair from Interiors, June 1951

A picture of the 1535 Chair in my own collection

In 1951 Paul McCobb introduces his iconic #1535 Planner Group Bentwood and Iron Chair (above). The #1535 side chair was rather expensive, retailing for $29.95, as compared to the #1531 w…

There's that damn moveable magazine rack again!

Here's a puzzling little oddity that has come up in my research.

In this clipping from Furniture Retailer and Furniture Age, October 10, 1956 we see the first appearance of a moveable magazine rack designed by Paul McCobb.

For the longest time I thought it was a one off made exclusively for the American Rayon Institute room until I came across this Photo in Look Magazine.
Look Magazine's December 23, 1958p. 80

"book tree" (below, left), shown with it's creator furniture designer Paul McCobb, will soon go into production. It was designed by McCobb "for the man who likes to read on the run."

And then again in House & Garden's, January 1959 "Forecast 1959" page.
So what ever happened to it? Did it ever actually go into production? If so, who would the manufacturer have been, and how many (if any) were sold?
Have you seen this book rack?

A slight obsession

Over the past 8 months I have been independently researching Paul McCobb's life and designs. At first just for my own personal edification, and then, as the breadth and scope of the task revealed itself, with the intention of publishing a Catalogues Raisonnés of Paul McCobb's work.
I have had help along the way from other Paul McCobb enthusiasts, most notably from Gerard O'Brien at Reform Gallery in Los Angeles and Mark Naylon at Modern Living Supplies in New York, both of whom are avid Paul McCobb collectors, who have graciously allowed me access to their invaluable personal collections in support of my research efforts.
The task is not an inconsiderable one. Paul McCobb was active as a designer for 20 years, with much of his earlier and later work either forgotten, or, in the very least, not commonly known and poorly documented.
Besides the comparatively well known furniture collections Paul McCobb also turned his hand to designing Lamps, Textiles, Mirrors, Tiles, Ceramics…