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Rare Paul Frankl Cork and Mahogany Kneehole Desk



C. 1940s, American, the mahogany eight- drawer desk encased in cork veneer on four sides, with book storage-well on the reverse. Bakelite and brass pulls. For Johnson Furniture Co.


  • Creator
    Paul Frankl (Designer),Johnson Furniture Company (Manufacturer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 28.5 in. (72.39 cm)Width: 60 in. (152.4 cm)Depth: 26 in. (66.04 cm)
  • Style
    Mid-Century Modern (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1940s
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Nice original condition showing light scattered surface scratches, nicks, color variations, typical of age, use and material.
  • Seller Location
    Brooklyn, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: Modest Designs 1131stDibs: LU800223952172

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $599 In-Home Delivery Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 4-9 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Hudson, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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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
5 / 5
Located in Brooklyn, NY
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Established in 2003
1stDibs seller since 2004
90 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 1 hour
20th Century Specialists
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