Baker Furniture Company
Collaborations with many leading designers and artists over time has made vintage Baker furniture one of the most consistently sought after heritage brands today.
Within a few decades of its launch, Baker Furniture Company evolved into one of the largest and most important furniture manufacturers in the United States, and became known for its high-quality production standards. Siebe Baker and business partner Henry Cook founded the original iteration of Baker Furniture Company in 1890 in Allegan, Michigan, after immigrating to the United States from the Netherlands. Allegan is a small town west of Grand Rapids, which, at that time was home to Widdicomb Furniture Co. and more and was known as America’s furniture capital. The company manufactured doors and interior moldings, and introduced a combination desk and bookcase in 1893. In the early 1900s, Siebe became sole owner of the business.
Among others, stage designer Joseph Urban and modernist designer Kem Weber contributed designs to Baker in the 1920s. In 1932, under the leadership of Siebe’s son, Hollis, who started at the company as a salesman but took the reins when his father passed in 1925, Baker Furniture introduced bedroom pieces and debuted its Manor House collection, which made reproductions of European furnishings available to the American market. (Hollis was an avid traveler and procured antiques overseas for the company to reproduce in the United States.) Soon, Baker Furniture Company moved to Holland, Michigan, and eventually opened showrooms in Grand Rapids and elsewhere.
Pioneering Scandinavian designer Finn Juhl created a Danish modern line for Baker in 1951, and the company produced his award-winning Chieftain chair for a short time. In the late 1950s, Baker introduced the Milling Road label to reach a younger audience with stylish but less costly furnishings like console tables, walnut dining chairs and more, and in 1961, British furniture designer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings introduced a modern neoclassical line at Baker.
The 1960s and ’70s saw the introduction of historic reproduction furniture lines such as Woburn Abbey and the Historic Charleston collection, which remain very popular to this day. In 1990, Baker was licensed to produce a furniture line from Colonial Williamsburg. That same year, the Smithsonian Museum introduced Baker’s Chippendale chair into its permanent collection and the Grand Rapids Art Museum dedicated an exhibition to Baker’s 100-year anniversary, a showcase that included 150 pieces of furniture Siebe Baker had collected as part of a larger assortment that had served as inspiration for his designs.
Today, vintage Baker furniture, such as its elegant mahogany nightstands and teak credenzas — particularly those crafted by Finn Juhl — sees high demand online and elsewhere. The company continues to produce contemporary collections with well-known designers such as Bill Sofield, Barbara Barry and Kara Mann and remains on par with some of the highest quality furniture in the industry.
Late 20th Century American American Classical Baker Furniture Company
1950s American Chinoiserie Vintage Baker Furniture Company
Late 20th Century American Regency Baker Furniture Company
21st Century and Contemporary American French Provincial Baker Furniture Company
Late 20th Century American Queen Anne Baker Furniture Company
1970s American Chinoiserie Vintage Baker Furniture Company
Late 20th Century American Modern Baker Furniture Company
1980s American Chippendale Vintage Baker Furniture Company