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.

Page taken from the 1952 Irwin Collection catalog

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).

Page 55 of the 1956 Directional Designs by Paul McCobb catalog

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

Page 20 of the 1956 Directional Designs by Paul McCobb catalog

1953 saw the addition of the #1596 wrought iron and maple room divider for the Planner Group (below)

Page 6 of the 1953 California State Fair Art Exhibit brochure

For 1954's Calvin Group the 1066/1095 66" Buffet Cabinet with  60" Breakfront Top was added (below)

Page 34 of the 1956 Directional Designs by Paul McCobb catalog

This #495/496 aluminum and walnut room divider was added in 1956 for the Linear Group (below).

1956 publicity photo from the McCobb family archives

1957's Perimeter Group had it's own take on the room divider with it's all beech #2697 Room Divider top (below right).
Page 5 of the 1957 "Perimeter Group designed by Paul McCobb" brochure

And finally in 1959 the Planner Group got a second room divider design, the #1597 model in solid maple (below) as a replacement for the long discontinued #1596 wrought iron and maple room divider.

Bloomingdale's advertisement, NY Times June 5, 1960 page 33


  1. What I'd give to have a place for one of those gorgeous room dividers!

    On the subject of the Planner Group, I saw a bookcase headboard on Craigslist today that looked like it had some sort additional metal bookcase on top. The seller said it was from the Planner Group. Was there a headboard like that in the collection?

  2. There was most definitely a Planner headboard with a wrought iron bookcase top. Lovely piece, it's a shame that the queen size bed hadn't really happened yet in the early 50's when these things were being made, otherwise I would have one myself.

  3. These catalogue pictures are so incredibly tastefully done, not to mention the furniture itself! Very intereting to read up on Mr. McCobb, whose furniture one rarely comes across here in Sweden.

  4. My aunt owns the 7905/9305 purchased in 1958 I think. It's in perfect condition and has never been moved from its original spot in her home. beautiful. What is it worth?

  5. If you are looking for a valuation you should send some photos to your local antiques appraiser


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