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Paul Frankl

Austrian, American, 1886-1958

Born in Vienna, Paul Frankl came to the United States in 1914 as part of a wave of Central European design luminaries — among them Kem Weber, Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra — who were drawn by the energy and optimism of the American scene. Prolific and protean, Frankl would go on to design furnishings that are emblematic of nearly every key stylistic chord in American modernism, from the streamlined Art Deco to free-form organic shapes.

Frankl's Skyscraper cabinets, bookcases and more — introduced in 1924 — are his earliest and best-known designs (and the work by which he is most often represented in institutions, such as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art). Tall and narrow, the pieces have staggered shelves meant to mimic the setbacks of Manhattan office towers. A later visually expressive line — the Speed chairs and sofas, which have a raked profile suggesting motion — links Frankl to Donald Deskey, Raymond Loewy and other creators of Streamline Moderne design.

Frankl moved to Los Angeles in 1934 and luxuriated in the climate and lifestyle. His designs became lighter and simpler and found an audience among the Hollywood élite. (Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Fred Astaire were clients.) Fascinated by Asian arts, Frankl produced numerous pieces — tabletops with edges that curve upward; sofas, chairs and other seating with rattan frames — inspired by Chinese and Japanese forms and materials. In the 1940s, Frankl became one of the first designers to incorporate free-form, biomorphic shapes in his work, as well as novel upholstery fabrics such as denim and nubby wool.

Frankl biographer Christopher Long argues that the designer’s easy, elegant aesthetic had an enormous influence on movie set design. As the furniture below attests, Paul Frankl’s work is ready for its close-up.

Find vintage Paul Frankl tables, dining chairs, case pieces and storage cabinets on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$4,105
Styles
Materials
Iconic Designs from Paul Frankl
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Pretzel Sofa
Pretzel Sofa
Paul Frankl Skyscraper
Paul Frankl Skyscraper
Paul Frankl Free-Standing Desk in Mahogany and Cork
By Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Company
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Paul Frankl for Johnson Furniture, free-standing desk, cork, mahogany, brass, United States, 1940s. This rare piece shows an exquisite construction based on a cubic shape executed ...
Category

1940s American Art Deco Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Brass

  • Paul Frankl Free-Standing Desk in Mahogany and Cork
  • Paul Frankl Free-Standing Desk in Mahogany and Cork
  • Paul Frankl Free-Standing Desk in Mahogany and Cork
  • Paul Frankl Free-Standing Desk in Mahogany and Cork
H 28.35 in. W 60.04 in. D 26.38 in.
Paul Frankl "Station Wagon" Three-Drawer Chest for Johnson Furniture
By Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Co.
Located in Hanover, MA
Gorgeous three-drawer nightstand chest by Paul Frankl from his highly coveted "Station Wagon Group" created in 1945 for Johnson Furniture Company of Grand Rapids. Branded mark in top...
Category

1940s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Brass

Paul Frankl for Johnson Furniture King Headboard
By Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Company
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Paul Frankl king size headboard, 80" wide and 36" tall. Additional pieces are available. Original finish shows wear and fading of color.
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Mahogany

Vintage Paul Frankl Mahogany & Cork Sideboard, 1940s
By Johnson Furniture Company, John Stuart Inc., Paul Frankl
Located in Brooklyn, NY
A timeless classic, Paul Frankl for Johnson Furniture Co. sideboard in sculpted mahogany and polished cork with hammered brass hardware. With utility to spare, this piece is comprise...
Category

1940s American Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Brass

Cabinet Mirror Set by Paul Frankl in Limed Oak, circa 1950s
By Paul Frankl
Located in Stamford, CT
Rustic-Modern cabinet and mirror set designed by Paul Frankl for Brown Saltman, circa 1950s. Fully restored in their original cerused finish. The mirror could be hung vertically or h...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Oak

Paul Frankl American Mid-Century Square Cork Top Cocktail / Coffee Table
By Paul Frankl
Located in New York, NY
American mid-century square cocktail / coffee table with a cork top and cork veneer, resting on four squared legs. (PAUL FRANKL).
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Cork

Paul Frankl Chest in Your Choice of Color
By Paul Frankl
Located in Atlanta, GA
Elegant Chest designed by Paul Frankl for Johnson Furniture, American, circa 1950s. It is currently being refinished and can be completed in your choice of color. The hardware is a m...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul Frankl

Materials

Metal

  • Paul Frankl Chest in Your Choice of Color
  • Paul Frankl Chest in Your Choice of Color
  • Paul Frankl Chest in Your Choice of Color
  • Paul Frankl Chest in Your Choice of Color
H 32 in. W 40 in. D 22.5 in.
Pair of Paul Frankl Walnut Nightstands for Johnson Furniture Solid Brass Pulls
By Paul Frankl, Johnson Furniture Company
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Pair of stunning Mid-Century Modern walnut end tables night stands with solid brass buckle shape pulls.
Category

20th Century American Mid-Century Modern Paul Frankl

Materials

Walnut

Browse all Furniture from Paul Frankl
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Paul Frankl Sellers

Harveys on Beverly
4.6
Soho Treasures
4.7
Interior Motives LLC
5.0
Century Design Ltd.
5.0
Show Pony Palm Beach
5.0
More Paul Frankl Designs
Pretzel Sofa
Pretzel Sofa
Average Price
$4,934
Number Available
8
Pretzel Sofa
By Paul Frankl
Materials
Bamboo, Natural Fiber, Rattan
Styles
Art Deco, Mid Century Modern
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Paul Frankl Skyscraper
Paul Frankl Skyscraper
Average Price
$16,725
Number Available
4
Paul Frankl Skyscraper
By Paul Frankl
Materials
Wood, Glass
Styles
Art Deco
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Paul Frankl furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Paul Frankl furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of wood and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Paul Frankl collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. There are currently 235 vintage editions of these items in stock, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of the original furniture by Paul Frankl was created in North America during the 20th century in the Mid-Century Modern style. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Henredon, John Widdicomb and Tommi Parzinger. Paul Frankl furniture prices can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $316 and tops out at $176,000, while pieces like these can sell for $5,750 on average.

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