Research Revisited-Harvey Probber piece

Bent Mahogany Base is held by a brass stretcher rod.  Probber did have some famous dining chairs that also utilize the brass rod and curved slats but we all know there are tons of knock offs or just plain likeness designs out there, I just really wanted to see this in print.   

Bent Mahogany Base is held by a brass stretcher rod.  Probber did have some famous dining chairs that also utilize the brass rod and curved slats but we all know there are tons of knock offs or just plain likeness designs out there, I just really wanted to see this in print.   

Earlier this year I won a beautiful little side table with a bent wood slatted x base.  Not many turned up but the piece along with a similar magazine rack seem to get attributed to Harvey Probber.  If you know me at all, you know I never believe others when they say ‘attributed to’ and prefer to do my own research. Over the summer I was able to review a Probber catalog at the Philadelphia Athenaeum Museum, which is basically an architectural museum and library.  The small catalog was more of a brochure and did not contain the table.  I did, however, discuss what I was looking for with the librarian who recommended I check both Winterthur and Hagley in Wilmington, DE.  Both of these museums are in the realm of the DuPont family and document industrial history.  I checked Hagley’s holdings and they had 2 Probber items I could review.  Unlike most places I visit, they were able to pull them while I waited.  

***RESEARCH TIP***  Most larger libraries have off site storage and it is very important you make an appointment in advance to review something specific in the collection.  

I am not an experienced Probber dealer so I could not determine much by the construction alone.  It was obvious there was veneer used. The design was impressive and the use of the brass piece was definitely not your average look but I needed to learn more. Check out the catalogs are always a help.  Sadly, there are really no resources online for Probber and his works that I found.     I must say, after making the trip to Wilmington, I so enjoyed the perusal.  So first I looked at The Kill Collection.  It was a thin catalog that just featured pieces from this collection.  Everything in this collection is metal.  It is really lovely but not was I was looking for.  The Librarian returned with the other catalog.  This always makes me take a deep breath as I wonder if I will find my answer or go home with more questions after exhausting the 3 catalogs that are housed within 2 hours of me.  When I took a look at the tabbed hard cover bound book, I was optimistic. Where to start?  I turned to the Occassional section first. There were some side tables in the area but I did not find my table.  My heart began to sink again.  By this point, my goal was to get as much info out of this book as possible.  There were wood chip samples of the finishes offered. I also realized that Probber sold directly to the trade. That means in order to buy his furniture, you needed to be working with an interior designer or architect.  That cuts out a lot of middle America and also reminds me that these designer high end pieces will not be found easily.  

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I flipped to the beginning and started to find small pieces again so my optimism returned.  And finally, I found what I was looking for.  I high fived the kids, who had reluctantly accompanied me on this trip, and sat for a bit taking it all in.   

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Finish options. So cool that the sample chips were included! 

Finish options. So cool that the sample chips were included! 

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There were also plastic laminate chips of which only a white one was still intact.  I believe my top to be plastic laminate.  This particular piece and the magazine rack were not listed in the price list. Bummer.  This book was a 1957 publication, by the way.  

So excited I was able to authenticate this piece! I hope I get to visit the Probber catalog again in the future! His designs were fabulous and I would call him more transitional than mcm purist.  Unlike many of the lower end pieces, these are less kitschy and fun and all grace and elegance.  

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Prior to my stop at Hagley, I visited a fabric outlet in Newark.  It was worth the stop even though most fabrics were $20 or so a yard.  I picked up 5 yards and feel like I know where I am going with that Knoll Antimott Chair now.  I often hate to commit to fabrics and colors without a buyer but intelligent me knows most people don’t have enough imagination to choose.  I wanted something colorful with a bold print.  I have 3 yards of this (yellow/blue) I want to make the cushions out of.  I also got 2 yards of another navy/turquoise/royal geometric weave.  Both fabrics are indoor/outdoor and treated for fade resistance and sun protection but feel like a standard upholstery fabric. I think they will both do great in dining chair and high use applications.  Stay tuned!  If you are interested in purchasing the Knoll Antimott chair, there is still time to dictate the details.  Reach out!  I am half way through my income tax class and still very busy.  Working on adding new listings in between homework.  Please keep your eyes to my shops so you don’t miss anything!

LOCAL?  RENTALS FOR PHOTO SHOOTS!  looking for the perfect accessory for photographing the kids? If I have a piece you’d love to borrow for a day or a few hours, let’s chat!  I know I have some friends in photography and I would love to work out some rentals for your holiday shoots!  

NEW ARRIVALS!

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Awesome petite church pew bench. Only 53”! Pinterest this and see how hot they area! In a dining nook, foyer or hall, mud room and so much more!  Can work with primitive, eclectic and farmhouse looks too.  This pew came out of a church in South Jersey years ago.  The family is relocating to the west coast and leaving some things behind.  Painted, chippy finish, antiqued.   

Smalls include 2 huge glass pharmaceutical bottles, a neat pair of wood owl salt and pepper (grinder) made in India and a real clean scale.  Listings will be up soon.  Another treat for me.....that great wrap! 💕👌

Smalls include 2 huge glass pharmaceutical bottles, a neat pair of wood owl salt and pepper (grinder) made in India and a real clean scale.  Listings will be up soon.  Another treat for me.....that great wrap! 💕👌

Please note if you are searching for large furniture items in time for the holidays, I suggest you commit now.  Greyhound can take up to 2 months and this year has been on the longer side.  White glove shipping as well can take that long.  My uship guys are a little quicker but it really hinders on where they are in the schedule when we book them.  Pick up can be a week or two out.  I take care of all the booking and logistics for you so no worries! Let me assist you in creating a cozy home for the holidays! XO MALISSA

Wanted: Customizers!

I have waited a long time to pick up these fabulous Adrian Pearsall pieces and they are finally here!  I am so happy the gentleman I am purchasing them from is working with me and allowing me to collect them as I raise the funds.  That said, all of my recent sales have helped me attain this goal and my future sales will help me save them. Now is your chance to work with me to make these your own!  I will be taking them next week for the upholstery quote so I will have a better idea of the final price to restore.  I am pricing them as is, but If you would like me to handle the restoration work, you get my services no extra charge.  The only thing you will pay is the upholstery work and fabric, which I can help you get at wholesale or trade rates.  I will help you with fabric selection and purchase, plus any wood issues will be tended to.  There is some clean up needed but I should not have to strip them.  I might need to order the rubber strapping if the upholsterer does not have it available.  I found a supplier for it.  After I talk to him this week I will have a better idea of where the final cost will end up. Here’s a look at how they are now.  Serious degradation and brittle foam, hardened straps....just as I expected.  They still hold me but def not usable as is unless you like to vacuum foam powder hourly.  They were in a barn for a while too so the rebuild will include new foam and Dacron as needed, new strapping and new fabric of your choice- I will get yardage requirements at my quote. The good news is the legs unscrew on all of the pieces so I think there is a chance I can box and ship fed ex.  This will help save the white glove costs.  Will have to check dimensions to be sure. Delivery or meets in my region are no extra charge.  

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Try to look past their condition.  I can see them looking fabulous in a tweed or textured weave but maybe a velvet?  That would really class them up!   

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They are very low profile.  Super sexy and not a common style to find especially in a pair!  No, I will not split them up.  The mother, who is now residing in a nursing home, had them only about 5 years until she decided to redecorate and had them all reupholstered to match her new look!  So this is not the original fabrics.   

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Just as cute from behind!  

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This chair is called the Havana Chair by collectors.  You see them pop up without he ottoman which I believe was an option, but OMG....do not be tempted to skip the ottoman to save a few hundred bucks!  This set is an alternative to a chaise!  It is so wide that 2 can sit on it.  It will take up some space but this will steal the show in your room, sorry to say.  So be flamboyant with the color.....maybe even a big bold print cause if you got this set, you need to flaunt it and enjoy the heck out of it! If you are in new construction and have a huge master bedroom......this would be amazing in a corner.  

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That little bit of walnut arm trim is so handsome!  And the tufting.....love the tufting. 

My listings are up on etsy.  The Havana chair is currently not visible because the etsy police need to verify it was not smuggled in from Cuba. 🙄🔫  I am sure once they review my response the ban will be lifted.  I thought about telling a story or how a refugee floated to Miami on it... but then figured that everyone is taking jokes too seriously these days and I don’t need a hassle.  So the Havana chair that has nothing to do with the actual Havana in Cuba but everything to do with kick ass Adrian Pearsall design will be available to peruse shortly.  😜

A word about customizing these pieces.  You will pay for the item in full up front as priced in my etsy shop, I will get to work on your restoration.  This process will take a few weeks.  If you plan on looking at Joybird fabrics, order your swatches right away! I get 30% off listed prices plus the shipping charge.  There is a 5 yard min but these pieces will both use more, I suspect.  If you would like to shop at fschumacher.com, I can have samples sent to you.  Send me a list of what you’d like to see.  Schumacher is leaps and bounds better quality and finer fabrics than Joybird, but they are not priced for average America.  You can expect to pay $45+ per yard and they have some choices at $200/yard.  I can look up what you like and give you the info before you get your heart set on it.  Upholstery charges and fabrics if I purchase for you will be payable prior to shipping or at delivery. You will get photos and updates as I move along.  I am just as excited to be doing your restoration as you are to be buying it! ❤️

NEW HERMAN MILLER YARDAGE!  

I just bought some great old stock yardage by Herman Miller that has huge quantities.  I have listed on etsy by the yard.  If you would like to select any of these for your makeover, I will give you a better deal than the $10/yard I have it priced at.  I have lots and lots!!!! Here is a preview.   

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They are all listed on etsy.  Message me if you want more than one yard and I will make a custom listing and combine the shipping.  Etsy adds shipping to each qty.  I will only charge you what it actually costs to ship.  

How can you use these that they won’t scream 1990??? If you are trend savvy you will know without this pic. 😂  looks great with the pinks and purples now trending.  This is top of the line commercial grade fabric.  The decorator I got them from used to recover furnishings in her beach house and said she was very pleased how they held up over the years of heavy use.  I will be cutting to order and to length off my bolts.  More info in the listings.  This is also a great choice for you business owners that may have seating needing refreshed in your offices and waiting rooms!

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Also new and listing shortly is a great pair of early Knoll Don Petitt bentwood arm chairs.  How sexy are these oak beauties?  Petitt worked to develop the laminating process used in these chairs before he designed them.  These are 70s or earlier.  They are no longer in the Knoll lineup and are not in my 90s catalog so probably retired by the 80s.  They are so sturdy and great for use in a commercial setting.  Need seating in your office? Knoll quality that won’t set you back $1000 a chair and sturdy for folks that have a hard time getting in or out of a chair.  I think about these things because I have had past clients buy items from me for those very reasons!  They also make great dining chairs or interesting accent chairs.  Your eyes will keep following those smooth bends. 💕

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Original fabric is under the blue tweed.  I have no idea condition.  There are a few light stains but no eyesores.  They can be recovered to suit your space.  

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Use these as captains chairs at your table! Mixed dining chair sets are very attractive and eclectic.

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Thanks for reading! Reach out if I can assist you with something! I am busy taking a class right now trying to make my business better! I may try testing out what I learn in the weeks ahead.  I will definitely be looking to connect to interior design pros in my region. If you know someone I need to talk to, send me a note! ✌️ Malissa