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

Mid Century China

Steubenville Pottery "Fairlane".  This is probably the largest set I have right now.  I also added the tea pot and butter dish which is not pictured. Steuebenville is MOST famous for their Russel Wright designed line of china which is totally fab and highly collectable. I have found one piece of it, the base to a covered dish, which is chipped, but I have kept it for research purposes!

Steubenville Pottery "Fairlane".  This is probably the largest set I have right now.  I also added the tea pot and butter dish which is not pictured. Steuebenville is MOST famous for their Russel Wright designed line of china which is totally fab and highly collectable. I have found one piece of it, the base to a covered dish, which is chipped, but I have kept it for research purposes!

I have a thing for vintage china.  I do not keep any for myself since I have a full service for 12 of Princess House I bought in the mid 90's and also a full set of Longaberger Pottery I bought a bit later when we were building our home.  Since I invested so much into it, I prefer to keep it, for now.  I try to find interested patterns that have a nice selection of serving pieces and extras to help get people started collecting, add to an already started collection or just to get in the hands of someone who can appreciate it.  Just know I spend hours packing this stuff for safe shipping!  I am sure I end up not making much money on it, but I really just want it to be loved and enjoyed!  If you are closer to PA, I can do better on the shipping.  West Coasters, for me, is not very economical!  In many cases, a large set will be packed in 5 or more boxes.  I have found flat rate is ineffective for china packing and prefer to use the larger boxes.  I buy peanuts, wrap each piece in newspaper and bubbles and separate with cardboard and even wrap pieces with cardboard if there are handles and spouts I need to protect.  I would gladly delivery in our area to avoid shipping these beauties!  I do stress out while they are in transit!  I must say, however, no china shipment has gone awry for me and this includes 24 pcs of stemware and 2 very large sets of 40-57 pcs.  I want to show you some of the items I have available currently, as this site tends to focus on my furnishings, but I do enjoy sourcing much more!

The items above are "BLUE HEAVEN" by Canonsburg Pottery.  There is another famous Blue Heaven pattern by Royal China, which is also atomic and darling, but this one steals my heart.  Canonsburg is pretty interesting in that it was produced on a site that was formerly a Uranium Refinery in Western PA.  That said, legend states that Canonsburg Pottery pieces will set off a Geiger Counter and is radioactive.  Love the handles on the cream and sugar!  Very dainty and who can resist the aqua swirls and atomic stars!  This set was split to someone who needed the other items I had.  What remains is perfect for tea time.  Please consider adding these to your set or starting a set with these awesome pieces!

Taylor Smith & Taylor, Ever Yours "Arabesque"

Taylor Smith & Taylor, Ever Yours "Arabesque"

I suspect this pattern is not too common so I snapped these up for someone to collect.  There are some wonky off center decals, but for someone looking for these pieces, they will be happy to find them.  I suspect this will not be easy to add to, so if you are looking for something readily found, this may not be a good choice. 

Taylor Smith & Taylor "Pebbleford" designed by John Gilkes.  Not only are the shapes awesome, the daisy lids seem to be harder to find than the solids!  These could have been a grocery store promo where you could earn pieces with what you spent on groceries.  Mine are yellow, but there are also mint green, light blue and pink pieces available. 

Taylor Smith & Taylor "Pebbleford" designed by John Gilkes.  Not only are the shapes awesome, the daisy lids seem to be harder to find than the solids!  These could have been a grocery store promo where you could earn pieces with what you spent on groceries.  Mine are yellow, but there are also mint green, light blue and pink pieces available. 

Taylor Smith & Taylor "Spencerian Scroll" also by John Gilkes.  I suspect this is a hard one to find also....so I scooped it up.  Nice collection includes salt pepper, cream, sugar and gravy boat. 

Taylor Smith & Taylor "Spencerian Scroll" also by John Gilkes.  I suspect this is a hard one to find also....so I scooped it up.  Nice collection includes salt pepper, cream, sugar and gravy boat. 

Homer Laughlin "Skytone".  These cames in solids and decorated pieces.  This is only one of the decorations available.  What I love about Skytone is that they used blue clay!  One of my plates is chipped along the edge and you can see that the clay is solid blue!  I just think they are awesome.  HL is still in business today making a lot of dishes for restaurants.  Their mid century pieces were definitely the cream of the crop and are very collectable today!  Homer Laughlin is also responsible for FIESTA WARE, you may have heard of it.  :)

Homer Laughlin "Skytone".  These cames in solids and decorated pieces.  This is only one of the decorations available.  What I love about Skytone is that they used blue clay!  One of my plates is chipped along the edge and you can see that the clay is solid blue!  I just think they are awesome.  HL is still in business today making a lot of dishes for restaurants.  Their mid century pieces were definitely the cream of the crop and are very collectable today!  Homer Laughlin is also responsible for FIESTA WARE, you may have heard of it.  :)

Please have a look in the shop at all the partial sets and pieces I have available.  It may inspire you to fall in love with vintage china!  I have them in the VINTAGE CHINA section!  https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadModWorldVintage?section_id=15411857&ref=shopsection_leftnav_4

Hope you enjoyed learning about these awesome makers and sets!