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John Dickinson Tables

American, 1920-1982

Playful, sculptural, unexpected: Illustrious designer and decorator John Dickinson created interiors, lighting fixtures, seating and other furnishings that were wholly peculiar and unlike anything seen before. The Berkeley, California, native mined design movements of bygone eras for elements he would later integrate into what would become his signature anthropomorphic work.

Dickinson was inspired by Art Deco designers such as Jean-Michel Frank, who similarly drew on the past for his extravagant pieces, and found appeal in the claw-foot tables and seating that Georgian-era furniture makers produced.

Although Dickinson attended the Parsons School of Design in New York, he returned to the West Coast following graduation. He worked for decorating firms and furniture stores, and, in 1956, he set up his own practice in San Francisco, where he reinterpreted heritage in his sculptural lamps, stools and chairs with legs that terminate in hooves or resemble bones and tree branches.

Dickinson’s spare but sophisticated furniture is often associated with a “golden age” of San Francisco decorating that includes the work of designers Charles Pfister and Michael Taylor. Wider recognition over the years owes to collectors’ interest and exhibits such as “Fantasy and Function: The Furniture of John Dickinson,” which opened at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2003.

Despite his irreverent approach, Dickinson’s pieces were luxury items. He crafted lamps of unpolished brass and tables in chalky white plaster with a resin coating. His most iconic works are his Etruscan tables with legs resembling hooved animal feet and his Three-Legged African table, which was inspired by an artifact he discovered in an import shop. Dickinson took on only handpicked, young, well-to-do clients who were willing to give him free rein to experiment with these unusual forms and industrial materials. Leading department stores like Lord & Taylor, however, were also among his clientele. In 1977, Dickinson was commissioned to design a furniture collection for Macy’s. It featured white lacquered bookcases that drew on urban architecture and table lamps with bodies that mimicked animal bones.

Owing to his untimely death, and the fact that he worked in plaster, a highly breakable material, few of Dickinson’s original pieces exist to this day. Their scarcity renders every remaining Dickinson design a valuable heirloom guaranteed to make a statement in any room.

Find vintage John Dickinson furniture on 1stDibs.

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Creator: John Dickinson
John Dickinson Prototype African Table from the Firehouse, San Francisco
By John Dickinson
Located in Chicago, IL
John Dickinson Prototype African table from the Firehouse, SanFrancisco; Painted wood. This unique table anchored the seating area in the Firehouse where Dickinson would entertain h...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Wood

Original Production John Dickinson Galvanized Steel Drape End Table, Signed
By John Dickinson
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This exceptionally rare and high-sought after collectors item is the John Dickinson model #107 drape end table with trompe-l'œil fabric motif in galvanized steel and brass binding. T...
Category

1970s American Modern Vintage John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Brass, Steel

Authentic John Dickinson Original African Series Table, Model 103
By John Dickinson
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
From the imagination of John Dickinson (1919-1982), we offer this authentic, iconic occasional table fashioned of cast plaster over rebar. The primitive animal paw-legged piece is a ...
Category

1970s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Plaster

John Dickinson Two-Legged Zoomorphic Console Table, Prototype in Plaster
By John Dickinson, Sutherlands
Located in Dallas, TX
This is the Prototype of the Two-Legged Zoomorphic console table from the series eventually produced by David Sutherland. An extraordinary John Dickinson Design.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Mid-Century Modern John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Plaster

Pair of Rare John Dickinson Stacked Books End Tables
By John Dickinson, Drexel
Located in Chicago, IL
Pair of very rare John Dickinson bibliotheque end tables, a very limited edition design from Drexel's Et Cetera collection. Three large Shakespeare books make up the tabletop, with t...
Category

1960s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Metal

Iconic "Rope Table" in Plaster by John Dickinson 1980s
By John Dickinson
Located in New York, NY
Iconic "Rope Table", model # 111, in plaster by John Dickinson, American 1980. This piece is a rare masterwork by one of the best designers of the 20th century. Reference: John Dic...
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Plaster

Signed John Dickinson Table
By John Dickinson
Located in Nashville, TN
Galvanized metal table in the stye of a draped table with brass trim.
Category

1960s American Vintage John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Brass

Plaster Rope Table John Dickinson
By John Dickinson
Located in Atlanta, GA
Rope table (model no 111-J) designed by JOHN DICKINSON, an American designer based in San Francisco who actively designed a group of ground-breaking furniture in 50-70's using unconv...
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Plaster

Pair of Leather and Lacquered Side Tables by John Dickinson for Randolf & Hein
By Randolph & Hein, John Dickinson
Located in Palm Desert, CA
This pair of side tables were designed by John Dickinson and were put into production by San Francisco based furniture makers Randolf & Hein. Exhibiting all the hallmarks of Dickinso...
Category

1980s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Leather, Wood

John Dickinson White, Wood Rope Table
By John Dickinson
Located in West Hollywood, CA
Rope table (model no 111-J) designed by John Dickinson, an American designer based in San Francisco who expresses tribal and African influences in signature plaster pieces.
Category

20th Century John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Plaster

Vintage Boho John Dickinson Draped Plaster Side Tables, a Pair
By John Dickinson
Located in west palm beach, FL
Fantastic pair of vintage John Dickinson side tables. Iconic draped plaster design with a rope tie. Two tone finish to feature the drape look. Acquired from a Palm Beach estate.
Category

Mid-20th Century North American John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Rope, Plaster

Vintage Boho John Dickinson Draped Plaster Side Tables, a Pair
By John Dickinson
Located in west palm beach, FL
Fantastic pair of vintage John Dickinson side tables. Iconic draped plaster design with a rope tie. Two tone finish to feature the drape look. Acquired from a Palm Beach estate.
Category

Mid-20th Century North American John Dickinson Tables

Materials

Rope, Plaster

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John Dickinson tables for sale on 1stDibs

The tables of John Dickinson are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of Plaster and are designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of John Dickinson tables, there are many options, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are currently 12 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. In North America, many of the original tables by John Dickinson were created in the mid-century modern style during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider tables by Merton Gershun, Phillip Lloyd Powell and Cedric Hartman. Prices for John Dickinson tables can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $3,000 and tops out at $35,000, while pieces like these can sell for $15,500 on average.

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