Showing posts from January, 2011


Furnette Industries, Inc. was a furniture manufacturing concern located in the Bronx, NY. According to a June 11, 1962 New York Times article titled "Modern Furniture Can Be Assembled in the Home" Furnette started operation in 1945, little else is known about the early years of the company.
What we do know is that in 1955 Furnette started promoting a line of contemporary furnishings titled the Gallery Group, designed by Mark J. Furst and Robert Fellner (who also owned the company). Their mix and match design philosophy attracted some attention in the media and that is where our story begins. Along with their case pieces the new Gallery Group had a series of brass framed shelf units or hutches remarkably similar to Paul McCobb's designs.
This first illustration is a Halpern and Gillman advertisement from page 17 of the November 11, 1957 issue of the New York Times. This particular hutch is the most common of the group by far and, in my experience, almost always misattribute…

A Room Divided

There are very few new ideas in the world of furniture design when you get right down to it. Chairs are chairs, tables continue to be tables. So it's a very rare occasion when a truly new and original design concept comes into being. Paul McCobb managed to do this with the introduction of the open shelf room divider in 1952.

The following images detail the majority of Paul McCobb's  open shelf room divider designs.

One of the most iconic and easily recognized of all of Paul McCobb's designs is the 1952 Irwin Collection #7905/9305 brass and mahogany open shelf room divider (below) the very first design of it's kind.

The open shelf room divider concept was replicated again and again throughout the Paul McCobb design groups of the 1950's. A l954 addition to the Irwin Collection added the 1092/1093 Room Divider (below).

and the 36" #7903 Room Divider top was also added at about this time (below)

1953 saw the addition of the #1596 wrought iron and maple room divider for…

Country Workshop

If you have been following the blog you will already know a bit about Clifford Pascoe's designs for Modernmasters (see: "A Tale of Two Chairs" and "The Daybed that Paul McCobb should have designed...")  which were very clearly based upon Paul McCobb's 1951-1952 Planner Group offerings and Arthur Umanoff's designs for Peter De Jardin's Tropic Shop (see: "Sincerest Form of Flattery") which channeled the design synthesis of Paul McCobb's Planner Group and his designs for Directional.
Another of the copycats was Country Workshop owned by Josh Millstein. Country Workshop sold  their unfinished furniture directly from their factory in Newark, NJ to local patrons. They also sold mail order via ads in national magazines such as House & Garden and Living for Young Homemakers. 

Country Workshop was in operation, to my certain knowledge, from 1951 to 1974. One of the earlier references that I have been able to find is in a January 28, 1952 New …