Showing posts from November, 2010

The Planner Group - All 'Round Square

It's stark sleekness and simplicity of line made the #1305 All 'Round Square a longstanding staple of  Paul McCobb design in the 1950's. Where other designs came and went the All 'Round Square seemingly never went out of style. Measuring 20" x 20" x 16" it was made entirely of  rather crudely welded 1/2" round wrought iron with flat tabs welded to the top of the frame to attach the seat. 

The McCobb original should not be mistaken for the Frederic Weinberg stool which is of remarkably similar construction. The Weinberg stool measures 16" x 16" x 14". 

Nominally a part of the Planner Group the All 'Round Square, manufactured by the Winchendon Furniture Company, was introduced into the line in Spring/Summer 1952. The earliest known reference to it in my research archive is this Frank Brothers ad taken from the July 13, 1952 issue of the Long Beach Press-Telegram (below). It was sold at the time for $19.95. 

The ad mentions a comp…

The sincerest form of flattery

Every so often there pops up an item which on first look seems so obviously to be by a known designer that even the most experienced and knowledgeable people will not bother to question it’s provenance and authenticity since it’s creator seems to be proven by the “look and feel” of the object itself. The truth of the matter is that the Mid Century was rife with design copycats and outright knockoffs and not everything should be taken at face value. The following quote is taken from the August 22, 1954 New York Times article “The Pros and Cons of Copying” by Betty Pepis: 
 Designer Paul McCobb says of his inexpensive Planner Group: “Approximately a dozen manufacturers copied this line. Of this number we can name at least three who purchased our goods, brought them into their factory and copied them right down to the last detail. We were also given reports that the merchandise was being sold openly as direct copies. Prices were the same as the original—or above.”And architect George Nels…