Pierre Paulin Bird's-Eye Maple and Walnut Inlay Executive Desk
About the Item
- Dimensions:Height: 30.25 in (76.84 cm)Width: 72 in (182.88 cm)Depth: 36 in (91.44 cm)
- Materials and Techniques:
- Place of Origin:
- Date of Manufacture:circa 1980s
- Condition:Wear consistent with age and use. Very good to excellent original condition.
- Seller Location:Chicago, IL
- Reference Number:1stDibs: LU84192890102
Pierre Paulin introduced a fresh breeze into French furniture design in the 1960s and ’70s, fostering a sleek new space-age aesthetic. Along with Olivier Mourgue, Paulin developed furnishings with flowing lines and almost surreal naturalistic forms. And his work became such a byword for chic, forward-looking design and emerging technologies that two French presidents commissioned him to create environments in the Élysée Palace in Paris.
Paulin was born in Paris to a family of artists and designers. He initially sought to become a ceramist and sculptor and was studying in the town of Vallauris near the Côte d'Azur — a center for pottery making, where Pablo Picasso spent his postwar summers crafting ceramics — but broke his hand in a fight. He enrolled at the École Camondo, the Paris interior design school. There, Paulin was strongly influenced by the work of Charles and Ray Eames, George Nelson and Arne Jacobsen, as was reflected in his early creations for the manufacturer Thonet-France. It was at the Dutch firm Artifort, which he joined in 1958, where Paulin blossomed. In a few years, he produced several of his signature designs based on abstract organic shapes. These include the Butterfly chair (1963), which features a tubular steel frame and slung leather, and a group of striking seating pieces made with steel frames covered in polyurethane foam and tight jersey fabric: the Mushroom (1960), Ribbon (1966) and Tongue (1967) chairs.
In 1971, the Mobilier National — a department of France’s Ministry of Culture in charge of furnishing top-tier government offices and embassies — commissioned Paulin to redesign President Georges Pompidou’s private apartment in the Élysée Palace. In three years, Paulin transformed the staid rooms into futuristic environments with curved, fabric-clad walls and furnishings such as bookcases made from an arrangement of smoked-glass U shapes, flower-like pedestal chairs and pumpkin-esque loungers. Ten years later, the Mobilier National called on Paulin again, this time to furnish the private office of President François Mitterand. Paulin responded with an angular, postmodern take on neoclassical furniture, pieces that looked surprisingly at home in the paneled, Savonnerie-carpeted Louis XVI rooms. As those two Élysée Palace projects show, Paulin furniture works well both in a total decor or when used as a counterpoint to traditional pieces. You will see on 1stDibs that Pierre Paulin’s creations have a unique personality: bright and playful yet sophisticated and suave.
Baker Furniture Company
Owing to the company’s collaborations with many leading designers and artists over time, vintage Baker furniture is consistently sought after today. The heritage brand’s chairs, dining tables, desks and other pieces are widely known to collectors and design enthusiasts for their fine craftsmanship and durability.
Within a few decades of its launch, Baker Furniture Company evolved into one of the largest and most important furniture manufacturers in the United States, and became known for its high-quality production standards. Siebe Baker and business partner Henry Cook founded the original iteration of Baker Furniture Company in 1890 in Allegan, Michigan, after immigrating to the United States from the Netherlands. Allegan is a small town west of Grand Rapids, which, at that time was home to Widdicomb Furniture Co. and more and was known as America’s furniture capital. The company manufactured doors and interior moldings, and introduced a combination desk and bookcase in 1893. In the early 1900s, Siebe became sole owner of the business.
Among others, stage designer Joseph Urban and modernist designer Kem Weber contributed designs to Baker in the 1920s. In 1932, under the leadership of Siebe’s son, Hollis, who started at the company as a salesman but took the reins when his father passed in 1925, Baker Furniture introduced bedroom pieces and debuted its Manor House collection, which made reproductions of European furnishings available to the American market. (Hollis was an avid traveler and procured antiques overseas for the company to reproduce in the United States.) Soon, Baker Furniture Company moved to Holland, Michigan, and eventually opened showrooms in Grand Rapids and elsewhere.
Pioneering Scandinavian designer Finn Juhl created a Danish modern line for Baker in 1951, and the company produced his award-winning Chieftain chair for a short time. In the late 1950s, Baker introduced the Milling Road label to reach a younger audience with stylish but less costly furnishings like console tables, walnut dining chairs and more, and in 1961, British furniture designer T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings introduced a modern neoclassical line at Baker.
The 1960s and ’70s saw the introduction of historic reproduction furniture lines such as Woburn Abbey and the Historic Charleston collection, which remain very popular to this day. In 1990, Baker was licensed to produce a furniture line from Colonial Williamsburg. That same year, the Smithsonian Museum introduced Baker’s Chippendale chair into its permanent collection and the Grand Rapids Art Museum dedicated an exhibition to Baker’s 100-year anniversary, a showcase that included 150 pieces of furniture Siebe Baker had collected as part of a larger assortment that had served as inspiration for his designs.
Today, vintage Baker furniture, such as its elegant mahogany nightstands and teak credenzas — particularly those crafted by Finn Juhl — sees high demand online and elsewhere. The company continues to produce contemporary collections with well-known designers such as Bill Sofield, Barbara Barry and Kara Mann and remains on par with some of the highest quality furniture in the industry.
- ShippingRetrieving quote...Ships From: Chicago, IL
- Return PolicyA return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.
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