Thread Number: 74977  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Early MCM Dining Set by Paul Frankl
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Post# 987994   3/25/2018 at 01:20 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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My Meito china thread from earlier today was the effect.  A vintage 1940 MCM dining set was the cause.  I had to empty the old buffet/hutch to send it off to consignment.  The purchase of this Frankl set was inspired by a false sense of confidence in snagging a 1941 home earlier this month, where it would have fit in perfectly.  We were outbid, but I decided the Frankl set would be far more likely to fit into the scheme of our next home than the hulking made-in-China set we had, which was purchased for staging purposes back when we moved in and didn't expect to be here very long.  Ha ha -- that was nearly ten years ago . . .


I've attached some pictures.  The flash captures every flaw that otherwise goes unnoticed, but the set absolutely does need a good cleaning, and chair pads will need replacing and recovering, but I'll wait until we're in our new place before deciding on the pattern.


There is a mint green stained version of this same set (with less appealing hardware) on ebay right now for $4,400 BIN, and IMO it's seen harder use.  I've seen the buffet alone going for $5,200.  I paid $698 for my whole set.  Paul Frankl designed this for furniture maker Brown - Saltman, which was, I believe, an exclusive brand of the May Company department store chain in greater Los Angeles.  To wit:  The ebay set is located in Glendora, CA.


I'm requesting advice on the best cleaning product for the wood, as well as on how to address some moisture damage on top of the buffet and some other sort of irregular rough surface ring left by I don't know what on the table top.   I can provide pix of those two spots if needed.


Meanwhile, the pictures (I included one of the Chinese set we've consigned as a "before"):


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 8         View Full Size

Post# 988052 , Reply# 1   3/25/2018 at 12:58 by pulltostart (Mobile, AL)        

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Wow - big change, but IMO - big improvement!  Love the lines of the new set; late 1940's/early 1950's I would say.


I'm no expert on wood care; we'll hope others can assist you.  Have you considered re-finishing just the top of the buffet?  No changes, just new finish.


Sorry to learn that your purchase didn't work; that was a really neat house that you shared in the other thread.


Keep looking!



Post# 988054 , Reply# 2   3/25/2018 at 13:46 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Thanks Lawrence.


The house hunt continues.  We have a rent-back through June 5th after escrow closes on April 10.


I noticed this morning that there's a brown mark on one of the table pads that's the same shape as the ring on the table top, so it's definitely heat related as opposed to moisture.   Refinishing just the top of the buffet would be a last resort if nothing can be done to diminish the compromised area.  Right now the place mat is covering most of it.


Post# 988092 , Reply# 3   3/25/2018 at 16:14 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        


We've had great luck with Howard's products; Restore-a-Finish and Feed-n-Wax. We've used them on dark and light woods of most varieties with 4-0 steel wool, including Heywood Wakefield. As always, test in an inconspicuous spot first!

These products are found in most antique/collectibles shops on this side of the country- don't know about yours.

Good luck,

Post# 988111 , Reply# 4   3/25/2018 at 17:46 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Chuck, thanks for the recommendation.  I'll check around for Howard's products.


What would you suggest as a regular cleaner for the wood that hasn't been damaged?  Is there something better than Murphy's Oil Soap?  That's the only thing I'm familiar with.  The tops of the chairs are particularly dark from being handled over the decades, and one of them has a dark spill/splatter mark on the lower chair back and part of the seat and leg.

Post# 988112 , Reply# 5   3/25/2018 at 17:50 by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Iíve bought these Howard Restoration products at Orchard Supply Hardware. If there is one near you youíll probably be able to find it there. And they do work well. We used it on our kitchen cabinets to perk them up. You need to have good ventilation though, so plan on using it outside, or when the weather is warm enough to kee the windows open.

Post# 988117 , Reply# 6   3/25/2018 at 18:08 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Thanks Eddie,  OSH isn't far from me at all.  It's my go-to instead of Lowes or HD for the little things.

Post# 988140 , Reply# 7   3/25/2018 at 19:22 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
I Forgot to Mention

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There was a little surprise in one of the buffet drawers.  A vintage (I don't know what vintage exactly) Russel Wright creamer in chartreuse.  I can visualize a full set of this stuff pairing nicely with the dining set back in its heyday.  It might serve as an inspiration for seat bottom fabrics!  It's not worth much, but I'm going to hang onto it to possibly use as a mini gravy boat you can actually pour out of, or some such purpose.  It has a history with the furniture, and it's small enough to find space for it in my serve-ware cabinet.


There's a chip toward the top of the spout, and the glazing is seriously crazed.  I'm kind of amazed that nobody heard this thing knocking around in the drawer with all the moving the buffet has been through lately.  It was upright when I found it.  A testament to the mover's integrity.  He and his assistant were fast and efficient getting things in and out of here. 


This picture was lifted from the web.


Image result for russel wright creamer

Post# 988308 , Reply# 8   3/26/2018 at 12:12 by perc-o-prince (Southboro, Mass)        
the chairs are particularly dark from being handled over the

Same product!!!


Post# 988312 , Reply# 9   3/26/2018 at 12:17 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Excellent!  Thanks Chuck!

Post# 988530 , Reply# 10   3/27/2018 at 20:28 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Just got back from OSH.  They didn't have it.  I'll check ACE or another OSH store.

Post# 988590 , Reply# 11   3/28/2018 at 13:56 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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As is usually the case, Amazon has lots of Howard Restoration products...unless you enjoy taking a stroll through the San Jose traffic. PS...are you moving?

  View Full Size
Post# 988594 , Reply# 12   3/28/2018 at 14:08 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Joe, I looked on line last night and explored my options.  I'd like to get one of their comparison cards to make sure I buy the right tint.  I think it's either "neutral" or possibly "maple."


I'll check ACE, and even HD might stock it in their stores.


Yes, we're trying to move.  We just haven't been able to outbid anyone yet.  We're submitting yet another offer today on a 1975 house with zero personality.  Trying to stay in our current area, which is known as the gay ZIP Code, has proven nearly impossible, partly because there's no inventory and partly because most of the homes here are 75-100 years old and aren't ADA-friendly like we need for Dave.

Post# 988596 , Reply# 13   3/28/2018 at 14:33 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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I wonder if Aunt Levine's house is for sale? The last home on Topeka on the left (west) side at San Carlos next to that water company thing. Perfect size for you and it has/had a beauty parlor on the front..."Levine's" you can always look stunning. 

Post# 988601 , Reply# 14   3/28/2018 at 15:26 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
Thanks Joe

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My e-mail box is getting a steady stream of information with new arrivals on the MLS via my agent.  I haven't seen anything on Topeka come through, but will double check.

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