Desk Accessories by Gift Craft

The Paul McCobb Collection by Gift Craft Leather - Photo from Paul McCobb's archives

I first became aware of the Paul McCobb Group by Gift Craft Leather when I acquired Paul McCobb's papers in 2010. There were three very good black and white photo's of the group but little else in terms of hard information, at this point I did not even know the name of the manufacturer.

Shortly after, in August 2010,  I learned that the companies name was Gift Craft Leather from a visit to the Science, Industry and Business Library on Madison Avenue in NYC where I found the following snippet from Office Management Magazine's October 1959 issue (with help from Google Books and the Hathi Trust Digital Library) in their Microfiche archive.

Office Management October 1959 page 70

It wasn't until January 2011 during a visit to Gerard O'Brien's absolutely wonderful free design library at Reform Gallery in Los Angeles that I learned that Paul McCobb's Gift Craft Leather groups' inception date was actually several years earlier in 1957.

Interiors Magazine February 1957

Along the way, while I was digging, I learned that George Nelson had also designed a group for Gift Craft Leather in 1959.

Interior Design October 1959 p. 302

And then we hit the proverbial informational brick wall. Try as I might there just was not any more information to be found. The trail had gone cold.

Then fast forward to the present day (last week in fact) when my friend and fellow Paul McCobb aficionado Sam Hildreth reaches out to me asking whether I wanted the Gift Craft Leather catalog he had just purchased for my Paul McCobb archive. 

Gift Craft Leather Co., Inc. - 1963 Catalog cover

I immediately said yes...

The first thing that the catalog and accompanying price list tell us is that the Paul McCobb Group for Gift Craft Leather group was surprisingly durable in the marketplace. Starting in 1957 it was still being produced right up until Paul McCobb's death in 1969 as seen in the February 1969 price list from Gift Craft. 12 years was an awfully long time for any design group to be produced in the 50's and 60's, it must have been very successful for them.

We also get a thorough overview of the pieces in the group itself through the Paul McCobb Group catalog pages

Paul McCobb Group by Gift Craft Leather catalog pages 

And, as an added bonus, we also get the George Nelson Group pages as well. Well done Samuel!

George Nelson Group by Gift Craft Leather catalog pages
And the pricelist for the Nelson items


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