Friday, January 15, 2016

50's Conant Ball Dresser and Nightstand - Pass It Forward

Last week as I walked through the furniture room at the Goodwill something under a varied array of faux decorator items caught my eye, in fact, what I saw made me stop in my tracks. I had never seen anything like it. It was a dresser and though feet spoke to a Mid-Century heritage, the drawers were offset and made the piece stand out from all the other 'brown wood' surrounding it on the floor. I pulled open the top drawer and immediately saw the familiar Conant Ball brand and thought 'Oh , My'.
ConantBall Brand
I do not like googling in the store (gauche), but I did a quick search to find out a little something about what was sitting in front of me. I quickly found a few samples after an images search and saw I had found a Conant Ball ModernMate set from the 1950's - I could not pass it by.

The 9 drawer maple dresser and matching Nightstand were unique and aesthetically gorgeous.

Conant Ball ModernMates 9 Drawer Dresser by Leslie Diamond NOT Russel Wright!! It has been postured that Russel Wrights' American Modern line built by CB in the 30's and 40's is definitely unique from the ModernMates lines built during the 50's and 60's. Advertisements and personal histories identify Leslie Diamond as the responsible designer for the ModernMates product line of Mid Century Modern Furniture.
Leslie Diamond ModernMates 9 Drawer Dresser by ConantBall 

After looking at the two pieces for a couple of days out in the garage, researching what I had found turned up some very interesting information. Touted on 1st dibs, Chairish and the like as "Russel Wright" designed with its 9 staggered drawers, the lowly redit had many threads supporting evidence provided by the granddaughter(?) of designer Leslie Diamond that indeed this piece was made in the 1950's and was part of Conant Ball's ModernMates line of furniture, that Mr. Wright had designed in the 30's and 40's for CB but not in the 50's as he had moved on to other engagements. I felt so cool knowing something the big boys had missed, what a weekend ....

Conant Ball Model 5308 D 9-Drawer Dresser. 


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kai Kristiansen Puts Us In Auction Heaven

Mom joined me at the local auction this weekend giving me her input on most everything that passed the bench - tons of fun hearing her talk about actually using some of the antiques we saw in daily life like Iceboxes with block ice in the bottom (cold air raises right?) and Japanese glass and stainless everything after the war.

I had been reading recently about Antique American ‘Brown Furniture’ and validating the article’s point, most of the day was spent watching as piece after piece of beautiful walnut, mahogany and whatever was passed or sold at unbelievable prices. The auctioneer was at times almost pleading with people to take the big armoire and china cabinets off the floor with tables and dressers finding a little traction. Very interesting to watch.

We had spied a couple of interesting pieces during the preview and after the dust had settled came home with some chairs that put me in Auction Heaven, notably 4 Kai Kristiansen No. 42 dining/side chairs.
Kai Kristiansen No. 42 Chairs
These iconic mid-century modern designed chairs are all teak, with the original wool upholstery in a soft rose color and a swivel back for comfort. Designed in 1956/57 there is no dispute the striking profile of these chairs fully capture Danish Modern Design.

Kai Kristiansen No. 42 Chairs

I must say that dragging Mom along brings pretty good luck - I wonder if she is available next month !!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Atomic Amoeba Glass

Bringing a little mid-century modern style and grace to my kids bathroom, I found this Federal Glass Contemporary pattern better known as amoeba, boomerang on drinking glasses, chip & dips and storage jars but was dismayed to find they were usually the key element of some street facing window for the chic Mid-Century shops in the county. This usually meant expensive.

1950's Federal Glass Contemporary Apothecary Jar

But last night I found this lone apothecary jar sitting on the shelf of the the local school thrift and knew immediately it was going home with me. The thrift has been inching up prices over the last few months so I have not been finding much out of that shop but this one came for a cool $3.99 and though not a 'steal' by any stretch was still most agreeable.

This pattern, popularly called, amoeba or boomerang, was actually called Contemporary #4695. Marketed by the Federal Glass Company in the 50's and 60's it was distinctive for a couple of reasons:
  • They had 22 Kt gold integrated into their amoeba, boomerang designs.
  • They came in turquoise, pink, white, and black.
The white and pink are most difficult to find but this turquoise will match the washroom's still original 1962 color scheme perfectly