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!



  1. Someone will like the ash. And is that bench for sale?

    1. Hey Rececca, Even if I can have this reupholstered with minimal damge to the original finish I think this set may sit a long time before it sells even with the upholstery replaced. And yes, the bench is for sale! It matches all the dimensions in the Adrian Pearsall online catalog for pieces he designed for Craft Associates and have no reason to doubt it's an original. Especially since I obtained so many other obviously Pearsall pieces with this piece!

  2. I'd definitely go walnut with those chairs!

    1. Hey Dana, Thanks for your input! I have to agree with that, but I'm holding off for a bit looking for as much advise as this will garner. Have you ever seen this finish before?

  3. Wow, that's a tough one. On the one hand, that Ash finish is not a good look. Of course, that might be just because the blonde wood look is out of fashion. But it wasn't that long ago that people were white-washing kitchen cabinets and furniture and everyone wanted that look. I could see a beachy, cottage context for it without that orange upholstery, which has to go anyway since parts of it look shredded, right? Re-do it in blue or yellow? Any sense of what the wood actually is underneath? Maple? Birch? It can't be ash unless I just can't see the grain? Would it be possible to offer the buyer their choice of finishes like with the Hey-Wake stuff?

    As for the screw issue, I worked for a furniture maker who oddly pretty much just basically made a knock off of this Pearsall chair: You can see the back here: I know the backs are not upholstered, but the way we attached the back was with a special fancy tool that didn't require plugs on the back of the frame that I recall. Made by Festool maybe? I can email my old boss and ask about it if you're serious about fixing these. I was just the marketing girl, but they were pretty freaking excited about that tool.

    1. Hey Alison, I appreciate you chiming into the conversation! The link you put up errored out but I will continue to look for the link. Yes, the white wash look still continues to have it's followers, especially here in FL for the beachy cottage thing. That said, that's not the usual customer I get here in the store that are looking for some nice authentic MCM stuff and I still think I could do better refinishining price wise than leaving original. Unless someone proves to me that this is very collectable as is, and I'm still waiting, I will likely redo.

  4. That is one fab looking bench!

    And, personally, I think the walnut finish for the chairs. :)

  5. Hey LA, I'm still holding out for a bit more feedback, but definetely still seriously considering a total redo for the set. It would take someone who has considerable knowledge of the finish to change my mind on this particular project! And yeah, the bench is sweet!

  6. Walnut finish and black leather(or vinyl to keep cost down) would look really good on the chairs. Pain in ass job though.

  7. Hey David, I'm pretty much set on refinishing in walnut as soon as I get some other projects out of the way. Even though these would likely look great in black vinyl I don't think vinyl was ever an option on the originals so I'll probably go with some type of nubby fabric. I just purchased 14 yards of some nice oatmeal fabric for a killer sofa/bed and should have plenty for this as well. I'll be posting about the sofa in a few weeks!

  8. Wow, I'm in the minority here! I'm not typically a huge fan of that creamy white kind of finish but I'm actually loving it on that set. Especially with the orange fabric. I know it would look great in walnut too but it is so unique like it is.

  9. I found your site via Atomic Ranch. You do beautiful work!I have a set of Adrian Pearsall glass topped end/coffee tables and thought walnut was the only finish he ever used on his furniture. These chairs look almost painted.It seems like a lot of work but I think the set will appeal to more people as a walnut finish.

    1. Hey Jay, Thanks for the input and the AR reference! I wasn't sure how many I happeneded to reach with our sidebar. At this point I'm thinking a total redo in the walnut as well. There were actually many finishes available and even the ebony finish appears to be some type of paint rather than stain. I'm a natural wood grain type person and I'll make a determination after I strip this down to bare wood. I think it would be well worth the trouble.