The MCM Inventor, Robert Karoff of Karoff Originals

Typical tags that would be found on a Karoff item. 

Typical tags that would be found on a Karoff item. 

Hope everyone had a great holiday!  I am happy to get back on track with an informative post as I just picked up a fabulous foldable cocktail table that was so unique, I knew I had to add it to my inventory!  It has it's original label from Karoff Originals, NY.  A quick search showed me that Karoff Originals was well known as a purveyor of hostess gifts and other kitchen and knick knack tchotchkes.  The company also was known for a line of perfume packaged in unique bottles similar to the collectable Avon varieties. These perfumes were sold as early as the 1930s and into the 1950s for sure. The amazing discovery was that Robert Karoff boasts a slew of patents to his inventions and designs during his years and even patented the process to cut and fry carrots  to turn them into a crunchy chip like snack!  This was in the 1980's by the way, so he must have been competing with the famous Ron Popiel, infomercial King.  

A selection of clever perfume packaging designed my Robert Karoff for Karoff Originals. 

A selection of clever perfume packaging designed my Robert Karoff for Karoff Originals. 

I quickly found the patent to my table, officially registered as "HANDHOLD ACTUATED FOLDABLE TABLE".  It appears that there are 2 different styles as the first page looked like my metal legs, and a 2nd page showed what looks like wood legs.  The metal legs swing together and fit inside when the sides are dropped.  Very clever.  The woman I bought the table from said it was her mother's so my guess is she used it as a permanent table and quickly decided the eyelet bolt that was to serve as the carry handle was an eyesore and in the way as it was clipped off.  Because this appears to be a custom fabricated item, there is no way we can replace it, but perhaps a determined collector could attempt to have one made.  The good news is the veneer top is in excellent condition with only the most minor wear and does not have any stains, eyesores and or finish issues. I do think the boards are solid walnut.  The legs have some oxidation on the gold tone finish so I will be painting them to make them attractive again.  All feet glides are in tact which is always exciting!  This table folds into a very manageable size and is perfect for me to ship to far away places as the majority of my inventory gets shipped.  I have extensively searched for days and have not located any photos or write-ups on any in existence.  Mr. Karoff's obituary also states he was an 'inventor of foldable furnishings' but besides a collapsible bar cart entitled 'VERSA', and this table design, I have found no other references to furniture he designed.  There is a small table top folding buffet server which seems to pop up most in the secondary market and the bar carts are available.  This table, however, is a gem and appears to be quite elusive.  Would definitely love to hear from folks who may remember this table from their past or even have one of the 2 types of designs that show up in the patent!  

Meanwhile, this beauty will be finished up and listed in my shops.  If you are interested in it please reach out and I could give you first offer before I list. 

 

Blueprint sketch of the table as submitted with the patent. 

Blueprint sketch of the table as submitted with the patent. 

The table as found.  The metal disk in the center functions as the bolt that is also the swivel point for the legs.  Sadly the owner had clipped the eyelit loop that would serve as the carry handle when the table is folded. 

The table as found.  The metal disk in the center functions as the bolt that is also the swivel point for the legs.  Sadly the owner had clipped the eyelit loop that would serve as the carry handle when the table is folded. 

The horizontal leg set is on a center pivot and will sit tight on the wood wedges when in position.  Then swivel back next to the fixed legs so the table top can be folded for transport. 

The horizontal leg set is on a center pivot and will sit tight on the wood wedges when in position.  Then swivel back next to the fixed legs so the table top can be folded for transport. 

A view of the legs swung ready to collapse the top. 

A view of the legs swung ready to collapse the top. 

Folded up in a cute and tiny package for transport or storage.  

Folded up in a cute and tiny package for transport or storage.  

Original label intact.  Yes, this could easily have been lost over the years.  I will spray adhesive on this one to make sure it stays attached. I did search generically knowing that others may not know the maker and still no luck finding another!   

Original label intact.  Yes, this could easily have been lost over the years.  I will spray adhesive on this one to make sure it stays attached. I did search generically knowing that others may not know the maker and still no luck finding another!   

Keep your eyes peeled for Karoff Originals in your hunts!  I bet now that we know about them, we will find more items in the wild!

XO Malissa