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Paul McCobb

American, 1917-1969

The single aesthetic attribute of vintage Paul McCobb furniture is that the designer completely forsook ornament — his pieces have no flourishes. And yet, because they are honest — McCobb’s chairs, desks and dining tables are made of solid wood, usually maple or birch, often paired with frames and legs of wrought iron; the cabinets are traditionally scaled; the seating pieces have historic antecedents such as the Windsor chair — his mid-century modern work has warmth and presence.

You could call the Massachusetts-born McCobb a man of parts. As a furniture designer, his work combined the attributes of many of his now better-known peers. 

Like the work of Bauhaus designers such as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer, McCobb's furniture had purity of form and line. Like the designs of Florence Knoll and George Nelson and his associates, McCobb’s work was efficient and purposeful. And even like George Nakashima, he was adept at interpreting traditional forms, in particular those of chairs, for the 20th century.

More than any other designer besides Russel Wright, with his ubiquitous ceramic tableware, McCobb was arguably responsible for the introduction of modern design into middle-class American households — if for no other reason than that he designed the 1952 set for the original Today show. 

McCobb, a repeat recipient of the Good Design Award from the Museum of Modern Art, also designed cohesive lines of furnishings, such as his best-known Planner Group, that gave homes an instant “look.” He designed for several companies, most notably Directional, which was home to McCobb’s Origami chair

In 1949, in partnership with New York furniture salesman B.G. Mesberg, McCobb set up the Directional Furniture Company, a​ brand known to vintage mid-century modern furniture collectors everywhere. Directional opened its doors after McCobb created the high-end Directional Modern line of sofas distributed by the New York-based Modernage Company. Directional also produced designs by other legends such as Paul Evans and Vladimir Kagan

As you can see from the offerings on 1stDibs, McCobb designs are the pin-striped suit, or the little black dress, of a decor: an essential.

Find vintage Paul McCobb credenzas, bookcases, nightstands and other furniture on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$3,375
Styles
Materials
Related Creators
Iconic Designs from Paul McCobb
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Paul Mccobb Origami Chair
Paul Mccobb Origami Chair
Paul Mccobb Symmetric Group Sofa
Paul Mccobb Symmetric Group Sofa
Set of 4 Paul McCobb Planner Group Spindle Back Dining Chairs
By Paul McCobb
Located in Los Angeles, CA
An exceptional set of 4 iconic solid maple spindle back dining chairs by Paul McCobb for Winchendon Furniture, "Planner Group". The Planner Group was a highly influential mid-centur...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul McCobb

Materials

Maple

Modernist Drop leaf Planner Group Bar Cart Table by Paul McCobb . wood & iron
By Planner Group, Paul McCobb
Located in Buffalo, NY
Rare Midcentury bar cart #1250 designed by Paul McCobb for planner group collection, circa 1950. Featuring one dove-tail drawer and 2 fold down leaves. Retains Original finish / pati...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul McCobb

Materials

Iron

Paul McCobb Lounge Chair in Original Turquoise Upholstery and Walnut
By Paul McCobb, Directional
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Paul McCobb for Directional Designs, lounge chair, model 1322, walnut, fabric, 1950s. A design Paul McCobb model 1322 dating back to the 1950s. The quintessential design features o...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul McCobb

Materials

Fabric, Walnut

Original Paul McCobb Bookcase/Etagere and Bench Set from the Planner Group
By Paul McCobb
Located in New York, NY
Gorgeous Mid Century two piece shelving system by Paul McCobb and part of the “Planner Group” manufactured by Winchendon in the 1950s. Original maple wood shelves and black wrought i...
Category

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

Materials

Iron

Paul McCobb for Planner Group Dining Table in Maple
By Paul McCobb, Planner Group
Located in Waalwijk, NL
Paul McCobb for Planner Group, dining table model 1522, maple, United States, 1950s Dining table ‘1522’ in maple by designer Paul McCobb. This model features blond maple wood that i...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul McCobb

Materials

Maple

Paul McCobb Connoisseur Collection Mahogany and Brass Server or Bar Cabinet
By H Sacks & Sons, Paul McCobb
Located in South Bend, IN
A gorgeous Mid-Century Modern petite server or bar cabinet By Paul McCobb for H. Sacks & Sons, "Connoisseur Collection" USA, 1950s Mahogany, with brass legs and hardware. Measure...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul McCobb

Materials

Brass

Paul McCobb for Directional Two-Piece Cream White Sectional Sofa, 1958, Brass
By Paul McCobb
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Paul McCobb for Directional, two piece sectional sofa, c 1958. Cream on cream minimal Jacobean floral textile and solid brass. Two parts can be used together as one long sofa or as separate pieces. Gorgeous lines and minimal modern design. Single cushions for seat and back delineate each part but come together to form a sleek, neatly symmetrical (yet one-armed) sofa, comprised of a armless. Vintage Scalamandre pillows in main photo are for display only and NOT included with sofa. Settee and one arm loveseat...
Category

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

Materials

Brass

Paul McCobb Planner Group Black Lacquered Cabinet With Sliding Doors, Refinished
By Planner Group, Paul McCobb
Located in South Bend, IN
A gorgeous Mid-Century Modern black lacquered solid maple record cabinet or bar cabinet with sliding doors By Paul McCobb for Winchendon Furniture, "Planner Group" USA, 1950s Blac...
Category

1950s American Mid-Century Modern Vintage Paul McCobb

Materials

Brass

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Creators Similar to Paul McCobb

More Paul McCobb Designs
Paul Mccobb Origami Chair
Paul Mccobb Origami Chair
Average Price
$3,283
Number Available
12
Paul Mccobb Origami Chair
By Paul McCobb
Materials
Metal, Fiberglass, Plastic
Styles
Mid Century Modern
It’s universally known as the Origami chair — a moniker that references the long tradition of delicate paper-folding art that was popularized in Japan. Originally, however, the intent was to create seating that was exceptionally strong.Promoted under its official name in a Directional Furniture brochure as sturdy enough for “extraordinary conditions” and “eminently suited to hard wear,” the Faceted Form chair in 1959 was the creation of Paul McCobb (1917–69), one of America’s most prolific mi...
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Paul Mccobb Symmetric Group Sofa
Paul Mccobb Symmetric Group Sofa
Average Price
$7,550
Number Available
6
Paul Mccobb Symmetric Group Sofa
By Paul McCobb
Materials
Wood, Fabric, Maple, Walnut
Styles
Mid Century Modern
The 1962 Symmetric Group sofa borrows from the simplicity of New England furniture traditions and infuses this heritage with a playful modernism. Boston-born designer Paul McCobb (1917–69) was inspired by the solid craftsmanship of Shaker and Windsor furniture as well as the needs of mid-century living. Designed for Widdicomb Furniture Company, the high-backed Symmetric Group sofa could add a note of elegance to a middle-class home, balancing its bulky body of swooping arms and ribbed details...
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Paul Mccobb furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Paul McCobb furniture are available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive items are frequently made of wood and are designed with extraordinary care. There are many options to choose from in our collection of Paul McCobb furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. We have 901 vintage editions of these items in-stock, while there is 16 modern edition to choose from as well. Many of the original furniture by Paul McCobb were created in the mid-century modern style in north america during the 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Dunbar, George Nelson, and John Widdicomb. Prices for Paul McCobb furniture can differ depending upon size, time period and other attributes — on 1stDibs, these items begin at $195 and can go as high as $25,995, while a piece like these, on average, fetch $3,826.
Questions About Paul McCobb
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    You can sell Paul McCobb furniture in a number of ways. Options include selling directly to someone else by advertising on social media or in the newspaper or going to a vintage furniture shop. You can also work with an auction house or choose a reputable online platform. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Paul McCobb furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    The best way to identify Paul McCobb furniture is to look for the signature hallmarks of his style. He didn't sign or add a brand marker to his pieces. McCobb preferred clean, simple lines with no ornamentation. Slightly angled legs and boxy drawers and chair backs are indicative of his work. On 1stDibs, find a variety of expertly vetted Paul McCobb furniture.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    To refinish Paul McCobb furniture, start by stripping away the old finish with a chemical stripper. Then, use a fine wire brush and steel wool to remove any lingering chemicals. Sand every surface and apply a wood conditioner. Finally, apply three to five coats of lacquer. Find a collection of Paul McCobb furniture on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    In most cases, Paul McCobb used a natural lacquer wood finish. In doing so, he emphasized the natural color and grain of the hardwoods used to build his tables, desks, cabinets and other furniture. Shop a collection of Paul McCobb on 1stDibs.

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