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Paul T. Frankl Custom-Built Art Deco Sofa, 1930

$36,000Asking Price


Sofa, enameled wood, cork, upholstery, New York, 1930s. This sofa is robust and warm. The materials used, cork, fabric and enameled wood all create a comforting environment. The design of the sofa is original in the most literal sense: it was custom-made in the thirties for a family in Vermont, Canada. Frankl's vision of an optimistic, new world order is already recognisable in this modernised Art Deco design. It is grand, geometric, uncompromising yet modest. It is sculptural and functional, something that is not unsual for Frankl's innovative designs. Comes complete with certificate of authenticity from Dr. Christopher Long (specialist on Frankl's oeuvre). Paul T. Frankl (1886 – 1958) was a furniture and interior designer born in Austria. At the age of 28 he moved to the United States. It was here that Frankl found his true aesthetic voice and style. Frankl was pre-eminently an advocate of American Modernism. He was optimistic and believed in a new and better world. Frankl witnessed two World Wars and aimed to create this better and upward world through his design. Next to his designs, he has written extensively on the subject of Modern architecture and design. Skyscrapers were one of his trademark features. The new structure of the skyscraper, which rose up into the sky, broke completely with the constraints of the past. Literature: - David Gebhard in High Styles: Twentieth-Century American Design. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1985. - J. Stewart Johnson. American Modern, 1925–1940: Design for a New Age. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2000. - Christopher Long. Paul T. Frankl and Modern American Design. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007. Their are some moderate stains to the '70s reupholstery. Please ask for more information about the almost unlimited options that our in-house upholstery team can offer you may you wish to reupholster this sofa. Free shipping for all European destinations and discounted shipping to all intercontinental destinations starting at $95, depending on the item of your selection. We offer a variety of services, high service white glove shipping, parcel shipping and store-to-door shipping, suitable for all your preferences. Our specialized shipping department can inform you about all the details, ask us for the customized possibilities and very competitive pricing.


  • Creator
    Paul Frankl (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 24.02 in. (61 cm)Width: 105.52 in. (268 cm)Depth: 50.01 in. (127 cm)Seat Height: 14.57 in. (37 cm)
  • Style
    Art Deco (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Some repaired chips, other darkened chips/losses to base. One darkened, crack to base.
  • Seller Location
    Waalwijk, NL
  • Reference Number
    Seller: 59351stDibs: LU93317393933

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Customs Duties & Taxes May Apply.
    Ships From: Waalwijk, Netherlands
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Designer

Paul Frankl

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. His “Skyscraper” cabinets, introduced in 1924, are Frankl’s 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 “Streamlined 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 and chairs 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.
About the Seller
4.8 / 5
Located in Waalwijk, Netherlands

Established in 2006, Morentz has a team of approximately 55 restorers, upholsterers, interior advisers and art historians, making it a gallery, workshop and upholstery studio, all in one. Every day, a carefully selected array of 20th-century furniture arrives from all over the world at the firm’s warehouse, where the team thoroughly e...

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Established in 2006
1stDibs seller since 2012
3,684 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
20th Century Specialists
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