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Gilbert Rohde Paldao Cabinet for Herman Miller



Gilbert Rohde designed this chest for Herman Miller as part of his 1941 Paldao Line of streamline modernist and modular furniture in exotic veneer. This is model no. 4103, two-door cabinet with distinctively incised large round pulls, interior fitted with two adjustable shelves behind the left door and five pull-out drawers behind the right door, fronts finished in black enamel. The case top and sides are Paldao wood; the doors are in highly figured burl Acacia. The finish is called "Beaver" which is natural color, no stain, satin varnish. The back is numbered "4130." All of Rohde's designs for Herman Miller are marked with a 4-digit number; the first two numbers indicate the year, and the second two numbers indicate the individual piece. Newly refinished and ready to place in your home. The Herman Miller Furniture Company was devoted to manufacturing period reproduction furniture until Pioneer industrial designer Gilbert Rohde walked into their Grand Rapids showroom in 1930. A devout modernist, Rohde convinced D.J. De Pree to focus on modern furniture throughout the 1930s, and to produce exclusively modern furniture by the time Rohde died in 1944. Work by the pioneering American industrial and furniture designer, Gilbert Rohde, is notable for its thoroughly modern, informal, and multifunctional qualities. Rohde’s ability to create appealing modernist furnishings for middle-class homes, while also devising merchandising strategies to sell these goods, places him within a unique framework in American design history. Born and raised in New York, Rohde was the son of a cabinetmaker. He attended New York City public schools and his post-high school education included courses at the Art Students League and the Grand Central School of Art. Rohde’s visit to Europe in the spring and summer of 1927 (with later trips in 1931 and 1937) to see the Bauhaus in Dessau and the French modernist design that debuted in the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris, profoundly inspired his concept of design and the role it should play in daily life. The French Art Deco and German rationalist styles he saw in Europe influenced the furniture he designed from the late 1920s into the 1940s, pieces he created to suit a rapidly changing American lifestyle. In addition to his work for Herman Miller Inc., Rohde also designed for several other furniture firms, including Thonet, Troy Sunshade, and Heywood-Wakefield. What set Rohde apart from his contemporaries was his all-encompassing understanding of the furniture industry, from design and production to marketing and showroom display.[1] During his time with Herman Miller Inc. (1932-1944), Rohde set the standard for collaborative efforts between designers and furniture firms, with George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames later following in his footsteps. In 1944, Rohde was killed in an automobile accident. Herman Miller produced his designs posthumously until 1946. Literature: Phyllis Ross, Gilbert Rohde: Modern Design for Modern Living (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009). Please see our separate listing (1stdibs ref: LU88668882853 ) for the companion secretary bookcase.


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    Ships From: Hingham, MA
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About the Manufacturer

Herman Miller

No other business of its kind did more than the Herman Miller Furniture Company to introduce modern design into American homes. Working with legendary designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Alexander Girard, the Zeeland, Michigan-based firm fostered some of the boldest expressions of what we now call mid-century modern style. In doing so, Herman Miller produced some of the most beautiful, iconic and, one can even say, noblest furniture ever. Founded in 1923, Herman Miller was originally known for grand historicist bedroom suites: heavily ornamented wood furniture that appealed to a high-minded, wealthier clientele. The company — named for its chief financial backer — began to suffer in the early 1930s as the Great Depression hit, and D.J. De Pree, the company’s CEO, feared bankruptcy. In 1932, aid came in the form of Gilbert Rohde, a self-taught furniture designer who had traveled widely in Europe, absorbing details of the Art Deco movement and other modernist influences. After persuading De Pree that the growing middle-class required smaller, lighter household furnishings, Rohde set a new course for Herman Miller, creating sleek chairs, tables and cabinetry that were the essence of the Streamline Moderne style. Rohde died suddenly in 1944. The following year, De Pree turned to George Nelson, an architect who had written widely about modern furniture design. Under Nelson’s leadership, Herman Miller would embrace new technologies and materials and audacious biomorphic forms. Some of the pieces the company produced are now emblems of 20th century American design, including the Eames lounge chair and ottoman and Nelson’s Marshmallow sofa and Coconut chair. As you can see on 1stDibs, such instantly recognizable furnishings have become timeless — staples of a modernist décor; striking, offbeat notes in traditional environments.
About the Seller
4.9 / 5
Located in Hingham, MA
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Established in 2008
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