Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bissman night stands? and a Heywood Wakefield end table redo along with some other fun and funky stuff!

 There is always something pending in A Modern Line world! Finally got caught up on other customers projects and started jumping back into some things I needed to get done. Yes, some around the house projects are always pending, but they seem to take a backseat to the fun stuff although I try and work some of these in to keep some balance.

Awhile back I acquired a pair of Bissman "nightstands"? and a M793G Heywood-Wakefield end table. I had not seen the Bissman pieces before, but they definetely caught my eye as they looked so much like the H/W Encore suite.

Finish was mostly intact but a little too rough to market as-is. These are some tall pieces for nightstands @ 32" high unless you have a high bed. I've considered marketing this as a desk and getting a piece of glass cut for across the top but I'll leave this project for a prospective buyer. I plan on stripping down for a total re-do.
Obviously Bissman cared a lot for the quality of the furniture they produced. Here's a couple pics of the drawer glides that the factory installed. All the drawers of these pieces work just like new! Rubber backed steel bumpers in all the drawers and inside cabinet. Quality all the way around!

One more pick for the attribution:

Solid Walnut? Absolutely! No veneers anywhere in these pieces! From what information I could glean from searches, Carl Bissman first designed homes and moved into the furniture business. There seem to be a limited number of pieces still available although all seem to be of exceptional quality. Maybe the business model made the furniture too well and the customers wouldn't need to ever replace. This was well before the planned obsolesence of todays furniture and everything else!

Next up a quite abused M 793G Heywood-Wakefield end table that was acquired from the same source. This particular table is being reproduced by the new H/W company (we are now dealers for them) but this is the vintage model. The plan is to do in the "champagne" finish unless someone catches me before the finish goes down and wants in wheat. Not nearly as bad as some of the pieces I've done but still may prove a bit of a challenge!

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, I'm not a fan of 50's cream/blonde veneered furniture although I did manage to bring life back to some fun atomic styled pieces awhile back. Here's the earlier post if you have an interest: http://amodernline.blogspot.com/2012/05/1950s-atomic-furniture-fun-and-happy.html

My wife acquired this desk because of the fun lines. Good price, not so much fun to work on. I probably would have passed, but once it's here you have to do something with it...

Veneer was pretty much shot and as much as I hate to paint anything this had to have some redo so here's the result. Love it or hate it, it will hopefully go to a new home. Low dough price and would make a great piece for a kids room and not have to worry about how long it will last or how it stands up. Way more solid than anything built today and easily redone to fit your decor! And all the laminate top and edges are still in great shape so no worries about drinks and the like...

Hopefully back with the finished results on the Bissman pieces as well as the H/W end table soon.
A Modern Line


  1. Can't wait to see the pieces when you get them refinished. I think the green and black dresser is really cute. When a piece is that far gone, painting is sometimes the only option, but it makes the piece functional again and keeps it out of a landfill, which I think makes the project worthwhile.

    1. I've already gotten a pretty good start on the Bissman pieces and should have done in a few days. I hope the desk finds an appreciative new home. At least it has the fun/funky thing going for it and it is definetely functional for a long time to come!

  2. I like what you did with that desk. If everyone so carefully considered the issue of paint, I would never object. That's very nice work.

    1. Alison, thanks, this desk perhaps found a new home on a TV series called Magic City based in 1959 on the Starz network. A set buyer/designer from Miami picked it up for the series as one of the props. Certainly not one of my better restorations but at least it found a new home!

  3. I have a bissman dresser that matches the end tables you have perfectly.