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Kay Leroy Ruggles Umbo Side Table Modular Shelf, Directional, Ivory Cream, 1972

$3,20020% Off


Kay Leroy Ruggles umbo side table modular shelf, Directional, ivory cream, 1972 UMBO was published in New York magazine on September 25, 1972 and became a huge hit for Directional (although the patent was still pending at the time). Directional Industries produced a wide variety of modules (see last image); since UMBO was fully modular, it could be arranged and re-arranged at any time. UMBO was even available with a desk, dining table, bed frame or wall shelves module which made it perfect for small New York apartments. The wonderful configuration seen here was designed and put together by its original owner. It can be rearranged, expanded or divided to your liking. The ensuing energy crisis of 1973 marked the end of the era of cheap gasoline and, therefore, plastics. UMBO was out of production by 1974. Large inventive configurations in “white” that have aged together are highly sought after and quite rare. Kay Leroy Ruggles was a Pioneer, inventor and entrepreneur throughout his long and successful career and won many awards and honors. He held numerous patents and designed and developed over 100 products in a wide range of industries, including automobile, space, furniture, window coverings, amusement park and musical instruments, to name only a few. These inventions include the tubular water slide and the invention of the integral sink/countertop out of cultured marble. When Richard Nixon wanted a new bathroom for Air Force One in 1969 it was Ruggles who got the job. Design us a bathroom with lots of mirrors and lights, the Boeing Co. told Ruggles, because the president has quite a 5 o'clock shadow and he needs to shave a lot. Eventually Hugh Hefner had a custom-designed Kay Ruggles rooms. So did Ted Kennedy. And Disney World.


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    Ships From: Brooklyn, NY
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About the Maker


​​A brand known to vintage mid-century modern furniture collectors everywhere, Directional Furniture opened its doors after American furniture designer Paul McCobb created the high-end Directional Modern line of sofas distributed by the New York–based Modernage Company.In his pivotal introduction of postwar modernism to the mass market, the revered Massachusetts-born McCobb had established several furniture lines, from the affordable and refined Planner Group for Winchendon to the swooping and unexpected arms of the Symmetric Group for Widdicomb, a Shaker-inspired collection that included a sofa and a lounge chair. Like all of McCobb’s designs, the Directional pieces for Modernage are defined by a sleek aesthetic in which the focus is on elegant functionality, frequently using fine materials such as brass and walnut. Other Directional designers included Vladimir Kagan, who contributed biomorphic sofas and swivel chairs; Milo Baughman, who created tables and dressers inspired by Scandinavian modernism; and Jack Lenor Larsen, who covered sofas in dynamically patterned fabric. In 1949, in partnership with New York furniture salesman B.G. Mesberg, McCobb set up the Directional Furniture Company.The pair’s first pieces were upholstered chairs, intended to harmonize with the modular Multiplex pieces designed by Martin Feinman. McCobb then designed an array of furniture including storage, dining, seating, desks and other pieces with details such as leather tops, wood finishes and Roman Travertine surfaces. While Directional stopped production of McCobb’s work in the early 1960s, it still released numerous pieces by leading designers manufactured by a variety of companies.Designer Paul Evans led the factory for a time after joining in 1964. His provocative work for the company often reflected his understanding of materials from his early training as a silversmith, such as the popular Cityscape series — a milestone in brutalist design — with its blocky forms accented with brass and chrome. At his shop in Lambertville, New Jersey, he collaborated with a design team to clad furniture pieces in metallic surfaces, like the Argente line that began production in 1968 and involved an acetylene torch to give its aluminum material a textural quality. He also worked on the Sculpted Bronze series with hand-formed resin shaped over plywood or steel that was then coated with atomized bronze.Other Directional designers included Vladimir Kagan, who contributed biomorphic sofas and swivel chairs; Milo Baughman, who created tables and dressers inspired by Scandinavian modernism; and Jack Lenor Larsen, who covered sofas in dynamically patterned fabric.Find authentic Directional Furniture seating, tables, case pieces and storage cabinets from top sellers around the world on 1stDibs.
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Platinum Seller
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Established in 2017
1stDibs seller since 2018
351 sales on 1stDibs
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