Over the past few years I have become increasingly aware of the necessity for context in research. At the very beginning of this project I was so narrowly focussed on getting information about Paul McCobb that I ignored anything else that wasn’t about McCobb. For instance, when I scanned the 1962 Lane catalog I entirely ignored the rest of it, only scanning those pages which dealt directly with Paul McCobb’s work. I later regretted this decision but there was really nothing to do about it as the catalog was in California and I wasn’t.
Fortunately life has conspired to make it so that I can finally right this egregious oversight, Gerard O’Brien of Reform Gallery (the fellow who has the Lane catalog) having decided to show select pieces from his Paul McCobb collection at the upcoming Los Angeles Antiques and Los Angeles Modernism shows at the Barker Hanger this April has called me in to work with him co-producing these Paul McCobb retrospectives, which means that once again I find myself…
A short time ago I put up a little bit of info on Instagram about Lane's Signature and Components groups by Paul McCobb now here's the rest of the info.
McCobb's work for Lane, produced between 1961 and 1965 was comprised of three group: Delineator, Signature, and Components. Signature and Components pieces have proven to be relatively hard to come by so far (which is not to say that Delineator pieces are exactly littering the planet, but they are far easier to obtain than their cousins).
Lane pieces (at least the tables) are easy to understand as they're typically marked with not only the design group number but they also have a "serial number" right below the design number, which is actually the production date written in reverse, so, once you know what you're looking for the tables are easy to identify. And that nicely brings us right around to the topic of this article which is a quick and dirty primer on how to identify Paul McCobb's designs for …
If you've read the timeline on here you'll see mention of Paul McCobb's Grand Rapids Collection, a Widdicomb case piece group to go along with Widdicomb's upholstered Symmetric Group.
I first became aware of this group towards the end of my library research into Paul McCobb, around September 2009, it was then I came across a series of advertisements from A. H. Stiehl published in Interior Design magazine between October 1962 and March 1963.
I had also found the Widdicomb case pieces mentioned in an article titled "Paul McCobb Opens his First Showroom" in the July 1963 issue of Interiors.
"(3) Widdicomb desk with refined architectural detailing in bleached walnut has three drawers. Also from the Widdicomb group are the small side chair and the armless chair with arched caned back." "(5) Widdicomb case piece with caned open shelf is in bleached Walnut the "Custom Light" finish. Hardware is in nickel-silver finish."
The case illustr…