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Paul Frankl Mid-Century Modern Credenza

$2,975

About

Mid-Century Modern combed fir credenza designed by Paul T. Frankl for Brown-Saltman. Quality craftsmanship with solid wood construction and dovetail detail. Brown-Saltman ink stamp on back. In good, original vintage condition with original finish. Displays beautifully, but this is not a refinished piece in perfect condition. Shows its history and age with patina, various scuffs and scratches. Base has been reinforced/repaired with steel L brackets. Both wood shelves are not original. For a buyer seeking an iconic, quality piece with character and patina, imperfect with age-appropriate wear. Paul T. Frankl: After Frankl completed his architectural studies at the Berlin Polytechnic, he traveled, spending time in Berlin and Copenhagen before arriving in the United States in April 1914. He settled in New York City and brought with him an outsider’s fresh perspective and an enthusiasm for forging a uniquely American design aesthetic. Frankl began as an architect and later switched to designing and painting fine art and furniture. In the years between the two world wars he, more than any other designer, helped shape the distinctive look of American modernism. Paul T. Frankl. "Skyscraper" Step Table, late 1920s Brooklyn Museum In the 1920s, he introduced his celebrated skyscraper style (before turning to metal furnishings in the 1930s). Frankl opened Frankl Galleries on 48th Street, calling his company Skyscraper Furniture, which became an epicenter of American modernism, including modern textiles and wallpapers imported from Europe. His solo art shows included New York City's Knoedler Gallery in 1931 and Los Angeles's Stendahl Gallery in 1944. After he later relocated to Los Angeles and opened a gallery on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, celebrities such as Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston and Alfred Hitchcock became clients. Frankl wrote several books and magazine articles about the Modern Style and was its most vocal proponent. He established the American Union of Decorative Artists and Craftsmen (AUDAC) in 1928. He later designed production pieces for Brown Saltman of California and Johnson Furniture Company of Grand Rapids, incorporating an early use of biomorphic designs and novel materials such as cork veneer. His style continuously evolved, from early skyscraper furniture to relaxed and casual designs favored by the Hollywood elite in the 1930s to manufactured pieces for the mass market in the 1950s. In 1934 he moved to Los Angeles where he taught at the University of Southern California and the Chouinard Art Institute. Used, out-of-print books he authored sell for hundreds of dollars in online bookstores. His daughter, Paulette Frankl, is an artist, author and photographer, and his grandson, Nicholas Koenig, is a creative director for theme parks and interactive games. Source: Wikipedia.

Details

  • Creator
    Paul Frankl (Designer),Brown Saltman (Maker)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 34 in. (86.36 cm)Width: 64 in. (162.56 cm)Depth: 20 in. (50.8 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    1950s
  • Condition
    Repaired. Wear consistent with age and use. Base reinforced/repaired with steel "L" brackets. Interior wood shelves are replacements.
  • Seller Location
    Fulton, CA
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU5539221925492

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Fulton, CA
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 2 days of delivery.

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About Paul Frankl (Designer)

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 SellerNew to 1stDibs
5 / 5
Located in Fulton, CA
Platinum Seller
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Established in 1978
1stDibs seller since 2020
11 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
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