Uhl Toledo Metal Furniture Company Drafting Chair

Continuing down the path of acquiring classic, industrial furnishings I located this week an exceptional example of Toledo Metal Furniture Company’s iconic drafting chair. This beauty came to The Purple Moon via a friend of a friend and is a great addition to the industrial collection now available in our gallery.

The Toledo Metal Furniture, Co. began as a bicycle maker in 1897 and was founded by the brothers Joe and Clement Uhl in Toledo Ohio. After the dawning of the automobile, with bicycle demand dropping, the Uhl’s began producing furnishings for commercial and industrial use in about 1910. The company later became a division of Banner Metal, Inc. in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. The Uhl brothers designed many of the furniture pieces now associated with the “machine age” and which are now highly desirable by those seeking the industrial chic look for their homes and offices.

This drafting stool, with fully adjustable seat and back height and a pivoting base, is made of heavy steel and wood and was designed to withstand weight and frequent use. As functional as it is expertly designed this stool is a classic of 20th Century design.

This Toledo Metal stool, along with other designs by the Uhl Brothers, is currently available to be seen, enjoyed and purchased in The Purple Moon’s showroom gallery.


Industrial at The Purple Moon

Utilitarian, historical, functional, hip and chic – industrial decor offers it all!

Visitors to The Purple Moon lately have been a bit surprised to find items with a bit more “patina” than our usual near-pristine mid-century modern fare.  We have blended in more of the “industrial” look with refurbished and often re-purposed items demonstrating how well these historical wood and metal pieces work with modern home decor.

Industrial Factory Cart Coffee Table

Shop Tool Caddy Transformed into Chic Bar Cart

Adding functional industrial items adds a new dimension of fun and interest to home decor. They also are the ultimate in “Green” home furnishings – saving these 20th Century artifacts from the landfill while eliminating the need for a newly manufactured item certainly reduces your carbon footprint.

Often, industrial items are not actually re-purposed but are simply used as they were originally intended while at the same time giving your home an urban chic look.

Vintage Industrial Drafting Table and Toledo Metal Drafting Chair

1930’s Brass Blade Fan by Emerson

Blending some industrial design into your home can also be as easy as using a few well-chosen accent pieces. Vintage wire baskets, metal trays, antique objects and even bed springs turned art offer endless decorating opportunities.

Bed Spring Wall Hanging with Industrial Objects and Warhol Print

Antique Clay Pool Balls in Wire Basket

This is just a hint of the many ways vintage industrial artifacts can be put to use decorating your home or office. Stop by The Purple Moon to see more!


Drexel Sun Coast Dining Room Buffet and China Cabinet

Drexel Sun Coast Buffet designed by Kipp Stewart – 1958

Drexel Heritage has been a producer of quality home furnishings for over 100 years. Established in 1903, the company pioneered the concept of partnering with outside designers to conceptualize new collections in the 1950’s. For example, California modernists Kipp Stewart and Stewart McDougall worked with Drexel Heritage to create modern collections including the Declaration and Sun Coast lines.

I was fortunate to land a couple of pieces of the hard-to-find Sun Coast last week and they are currently on display (and available for sale!) in The Purple Moon’s showroom.  Gorgeously crafted from cherry with iconic mid-century stars on the painted cabinet doors these beauties are a true sight to behold.

Drexel Sun Coast China Cabinet designed by Kipp Stewart – 1958

Designer Kipp Stewart’s furniture designs have been produced not only for Drexel but by other manufacturers in the United States, Europe and Asia and are in use by major corporations, the United Nations, the Ford Foundation, the White House, hotels throughout the world and many residences. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, among others.

Stop by The Purple Moon and check these out soon – I doubt they will last very long!


Old England Pop Art Watch by Richard Loftus

Twiggy Wearing a Richard Loftus Old England Watch - 1968
Twiggy Wearing a Richard Loftus Old England Watch - 1967

Richard Loftus designed a line of watches in 1967 for Accurist to be sold at the Apple Boutique owned by the Beatles and located on Baker Street in London’s famous Chelsea section. The bold watches with their PVC plastic straps became all the rage and were worn by not only the Beatles but also other Pop icons like Twiggy (shown above) and others on Carnaby Street and in trendy London of the swinging 60’s.

Richard Loftus Union Jack Watch by Accurist - 1967
Richard Loftus Union Jack Watch by Accurist - 1967

I ran across this watch today and boy is it a beauty. Still retaining the original strap – and in full working condition – this watch is a classic of 1960’s Pop design.

This watch is currently on display at The Purple Moon – but I bet not for long!


Blenko Glass Rarities – #384H Handled Water Bottles

Pair of Handled Water Bottles #384H – Blenko Glass – 1938

As anyone who has tried to collect Blenko Glass knows there are some designs you just rarely ever see. That certainly is the case with these two fabulous #384H water bottles in Ruby!

Shown in the Blenko catalogs for only the 1938-39 production years, the graceful and delicate design of this piece makes it much sought and rarely found by collectors.  Certainly the thin handle which is prone to cracks and breakage has thinned the number originally produced after 61 years making this a relatively scarce item from Blenko’s early years.

Many are familiar with the iconic double spout water bottle (#384) Blenko has produced continuously since the 1930’s but this variation on the theme certainly has much more appeal to me.

I recently got my hands on these two and they are simply stunning. Alas, I sold one at The Purple Moon less than 24 hours after I got it and the other is likely to go fast as well. If you’ve never seen one – stop by and take a look!


Mama Mia! – Ultra MOD Italian Lamp

Pottery Table Lamp – Made in Italy – circa 1971

One of our latest vintage finds is this super Italian Modern lamp dating from the very early 70’s. This minimalist beauty has a pottery body and is as cool as the come.

I just wish I knew who designed this lamp but nothing has come to light as of yet. Any thoughts?

This lamp is currently residing in the main showroom at The Purple Moon.


Blenko Masterpieces by Wayne Husted

Blenko Glass #554 – Wayne Husted – 1955

Just in at The Purple Moon are these fabulous 1950’s pieces by designer Wayne Husted.

Both are very hard-to-find and are excellent examples of the modernist flair Husted brought to Blenko during his time there as Design Director from 1953 to 1963. Over 500 pieces were designed by Husted during his tenure at Blenko.

Blenko Glass #5937 Decanter – Wayne Husted – 1959


Take a Load Off – Mid-Century Seating

Hollywood Regency Sectional Sofa – Flexsteel – circa 1960’s

We’re fortunate to have a plethora of exceptional mid-century modern seating in stock at The Purple Moon these days. Just take a gander at some of these beauties!

The Flexsteel three piece sectional sofa above dates from the 1960’s and is as elegant as they come. This sofa was professionally reupholstered in the early 1970’s and is, in a word, gorgeous.

Next we have this custom designed and handcrafted one-of-a-kind sofa which is quite possibly the nicest we have ever seen. Designed and constructed by Mansfield OH artist Margaret Twitchell Swank. who studied under Viktor Schreckengost at the Cleveland School of Art, this sofa was made in 1960 and measures right at 100 inches in length.

Custom Designed / Handcrafted Sofa – Margaret Twitchell Swank – circa 1959

This classic swivel chair by Plycraft and designed by George Mulhauser is a true gem and rarely seen with an actual woven fabric upholstery (most were vinyl) and dates from 1961. The sculptural lines of this bent plywood chair makes it truly iconic.

Plycraft Swivel Chair – George Mulhauser – 1961

Danish Modern Round Chair – Denmark – circa 1950’s

The Danish Modern Round chair, possibly by Selig and certainly in the style of Hans Wegner, is marked “Made in Denmark” and is a the perfect accent chair.

Also from Denmark is this wonderful Teak loveseat with its reversible cushions. Sleek and timeless this piece is at home in a living room today as it was 50 years ago.

Teak Danish Modern Loveseat – Denmark – circa 1950’s

Finally, the Hollywood sofa / daybed below is just the thing for that room which might also double as a spare bedroom – just pull off the backrest and, viola, you have a nice single bed for a house guest. It’s also stylish enough to be used in a more formal way. In fact, the Modern Lady and I have one just like this, in creamy white, in our living room.

Hollywood Sofa / Daybed – USA – circa 1950’s

All of this pieces, and more, are currently on display in The Purple Moon’s main showroom. Stop by and take a load off by giving them a try.


Dansk Kobernstyle Pitchers – Jens Quistgaard

Kobenstyle Pitcher Set by Dansk – Jens Quistgaard – circa 1960

Dansk International Designs Inc. was founded by American Ted Nierenberg in partnership with Danish designer Jens Quistgaard  and produced the classic Kobenstyle line beginning in the mid-1950’s. Originally made in Denmark by Glud & Marstand and then by a French firm into the early 70’s the enameled metal Kobenstyle kitchenware remains a classic.

The near-mint condition three-size pitcher set shown here in the bright yellow is decorative and functional and is currently available at The Purple Moon.


Coffee Style

As all my friends know, I love a good cup of coffee. Being a true “coffee achiever” I drink the high-impact brew morning, noon and night. But the drink is only part of the story.

Almost important as the caffeine-filled beverage is the ritual of its making, serving and consumption. In this day of drive-thru, every-other-street-corner purveyors of murky liquid in horrid paper – or even worse styrofoam – cups the art and style of serving coffee is often lost.

This was not always the case. Take for example the fine specimens of mid-mod design in the following photos.

MOD Op-Art Design Coffee Set – Circa 1960’s

After Dinner Coffee Set by Schmid – Designer: LaGardo Tackett – Circa 1960’s

MOD Orange Coffee Cup Set – Made in Japan – Circa 1960’s

Pyrex Coffee Mug Set – Circa 1960’s

With these classic vessels you can have a great cup of coffee while thumbing your nose at the disposable-oriented 21st Century culture and exert your own sense of style. Find a set for yourself then sit down, relax and enjoy.

Each of the sets shown here are currently available at The Purple Moon. Stop by and see us – the coffee is ready.