Monday, November 26, 2012

Trolling for info and polling my readers on some Adrian Pearsall pieces! And a Baumritter follow up!

I was contacted a couple of weeks ago with someone who had some Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates pieces available that she wanted to sell. She was thrilled when I told her I would love to have the pieces in the store, but a little less thrilled when I told her my wallet told me I'd have to pass. She was in a bind to move and everyone else she had contacted had been rude and had badly low-balled her on pricing. So we came to the agreement that I would take the pieces on consignment and deduct whatever I had to put into them to make them salable. Win - Win!!
Here's the first couple of pieces I basically just cleaned up and got right out...
One 916-CC Captains chair in ebony...

I believe this has likely been recovered sometime during it's life, but still in very good condition!
One 995-B 60 inch slatted bench also in very good condition. Basically some Restor-A-finish and cleaned up the brass on the legs...

It's not like I come across pieces like this everyday and I was happy to be able to offer them!
OK, this is where my shameless trolling for some info, and polling you my loyal readers, comes into play. The next shots are of a 1135-T free form table and 4 of the 915-C dinette chairs. These pieces appear to be of the original finish and fabric. There are no signs that these have been worked on although they are sorely in need of some TLC!

Here's the first question. Has anyone ever seen this finish on any of the Pearsall pieces much less this table and chairs? It has a white creamy appearance that I really don't care for although the original fabric was pretty swell at one time.
My consignor said she had spoken with James? Pearsall about the set and he was stumped by the finish but did some research and supposedly this set was made available in an "Ash" finish.
Is this rare and collectable? Or just rare because no one liked it and so few were made?
 This finish is in relatively good condition. To be honest, I don't think I can save it anyway as there are three plugs covering the screws that hold the back on that are going to have to be removed for recovery and I doubt I'd be very successful hiding the replacements.
Here's the poll...How many of you would think it would be sacriledge to ruin this gorgeous? Ash finish. And who thinks it would be well worth my time to strip this and go with the walnut finish?
I'm very much inclined to redo the whole set in walnut even though it's a fair amount of work.
 I believe it would greatly enhance the price I could get for it along with actually being able to sell the set!
I also have the 893-TGO Jax cocktail table in the original ebony finish that I'm considering for the same fate as it's finish, although original, is pretty chipped up.
Please feel free to comment! I'd love to hear everyones take/opinion on this!
Last up for today are afters of the first wave of the Baumritter refinish I've been working on.
Here's a couple of the befores to refresh your memory...

Thankfully the dresser was the original dried out finish. My customer had tried their hand at working on the chest and had applied some type of oil over the wood that I thought I'd never get out! The nightstand was not original to the set, but needed to match the other pieces. Bed is still in the works.
My customers were very satisfied with the end result in my Heywood-Wakefield "wheat" finish!

They couldn't have purchased any kind of quality "new" furniture for the price of this job!
I normally never use the terms quality and new furniture together. It's a bit of an oxymoron!
Thanks for taking a look and don't hesitate to spill me any info you have and give me your unadulterated opinion on the Pearsall pieces!


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Broyhill Emphasis, Birchcraft by Baumritter and some new aquisitions...

As many of my regular readers may know, I'm a big fan of all the Broyhill Premiere collection from the mid 60's. Brasilia, Saga, Modern Classic and the Emphasis series. Some friends of mine (J & B)who are long time customers contacted me regarding an Emphasis chest and dresser that they had thrifted awhile back and asked my advise on these. B had originally considered painting the chest. Nooo...please don't do that!
Although I neglected to get any before and afters of the dresser it was not in terrible shape and just needed some cleaning up. Cleaning up still entailed quite a few hours but it turned out quite nicely.
Now the chest was a different matter. It had some heavy gouges down one side. Probably not there originally, but some of the people that pick things up for donations really don't care about what they are handling. The top had some deep dents in the top from someone sliding heavy items around over the years but hadn't gone all the way through the finish. Good candidate for more than just a simple clean up!

They didn't want to spend a bunch of money trying to get this up to speed (who does?) and here is the solution! The face of the cabinet was in pretty good shape but the top and at least one side really needed my full attention. Well, you can't do just one side so I stripped both sides and the top leaving the face of the cabinet for a heavy cleaning...

Here's how we look after taking the top and sides down. Pretty darn naked! Couldn't get all the flaws out, but enough so no one is likely to notice some of the imperfections. This is vintage furniture and you can't always expect perfection! Here's after I restained...

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this chest was missing one of it's pulls on the left door. I managed to find an old brass door plate that had enough stock in it to cut down make a replacement handle. Not a perfect match but pretty damn close! So here's the chest as it's getting ready to get loaded and go home. Looks about 200% + better and B is now happy she didn't paint the piece. It found a great new home in their guest room!

Next up is a set of furniture that I'd not had the pleasure to work on previously. Birchcraft by Baumritter! Now I know I've heard the Baumritter company mentioned along with some major designers of mid-century furniture, but frankly I can't put my finger or brain into where. I'll work on this later. Another new customer had contacted me on refinishing these pieces from the 50's that were apparently sold through Ethan Allen outlets. To me, they look a bit like the Heywood-Wakefield "Cadence" suite.


Finish was pretty dry and worn on most of the pieces. The nightstand in the bottom pic is not original to the set but someone did a pretty nice job of trying to recreate the look. Obviously a cabinet type guy. Still pretty nice job!
The dresser and bed are still original finish (thankfully) but I think the owner had tried some type of redo awhile ago on the chest that didn't turn out quite as expected. I guess I should have quizzed him on what he put on this as it was a lot more trouble than expected to strip. Live and learn, should have charged more for this one! Although not original to this particular set, I'm refinishing in what I use for Heywood-Wakefiled "Wheat" finish for the redo as per customers preference.
Here's how we look stripped down and the first coat on.

and the first coat..

This is just the seal coat and will look totally different with the next 3 coats... I think my customers will be totally amazed at the transformation. They were thinking of buying some new furniture to replace these pieces but made the decision to save these. Great choice! Quality stuff and will be around for at least another 50 years! Even I can't wait to see how these turn out when finished!
I'll post the finished product in a few days!
We've gotten in some nice pieces lately in the store and I'm going to look at, and hopefully bring home a pretty nice collection of Adrian Pearsall furniture tomorrow! Here's what's new in house right now!
1962 Barcalounger Z frame recliner. I may have to take this one home!

Just in...Solid walnut modular room divider!

Pearsall inspired occasional chair. Refinsihed with new cushions and upholstery.

One more piece...A super sweet mid 60's Zenith X960 console stereo cabinet with louvered speaker doors and some great lines with a newly refinished top. Yup, the componets are all intact but it does have some fidelity issues...

Back soon with the end results of the Birchcraft for Baumritter tale and other mid-mod mayham!
BTW, It's been rumored that the Winter issue of Atomic Ranch may have included us in their issue. Let me know if you come across this and what you think... I haven't gotten my issue as yet...