Rare Larkin Desk for sale

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peterm
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Rare Larkin Desk for sale

Post by peterm »


SDR
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Post by SDR »

So, Mr Wright designed the first "Stanley wire" drawer pull -- and the tip-out sink-front accessory tray:

https://www.wwhardware.com/stanley-4483 ... ull-s44835

http://www.cabinetparts.com/p/knape-and ... AkAK8P8HAQ

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

I wonder if these pulls were already in use in the 1800s for industrial and institutional furniture?

https://www.etsy.com/listing/477993214/ ... ref=market

SDR
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Post by SDR »

A difference between the pulls in that flat-file cabinet and the Stanley design (copied by many, today) is that the former have visible screws while the latter are invisibly mounted. Wright's design for Larkin has a traditional backplate, but the pull itself, a simple shape (sometimes called a "staple") made of round bar stock, appears identical to the modern equivalent. It is favored by many an architect . . .

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Right, geometrically more pure and reductive. His "principles" in action?

DRN
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Post by DRN »

Really neat object...one wonders how many of these are in basements or garages in and around Buffalo as workbenches.

Do you think the Kino Bros. from the Roadshow would discourage the new owner from reupholstering the seat and its back?...or repairing what appears to be the start of rust-through in the knee well side of the drawer cabinet?

peterm
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Post by peterm »

A general rule of thumb for preserving value of such a piece is that reupholstering is not going to effect the value negatively, but messing with the finish can, especially if it involves refinishing the entire piece. Rust should be addressed if it might be causing structural problems or if it is spreading. Careful cleaning is always ok.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

Right. If it were mine, I'd preserve the priceless original upholstery materials, using them as a guide to the reupholstery. Then, on to a replica top . . .

I note that in early photos the seat-back rests at a more vertical angle than this piece does, today. Perhaps that could be addressed with some subtle addition of material at the latch, or wherever. One thinks of the sagging lever door handles found on most pre-war automobiles. Restorers routinely address that problem, sometimes by merely exchanging right-hand for left-hand square-rod handle shafts, I believe . . .

It's Keno, by the by -- like the casino game ?

SDR

Roderick Grant
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Post by Roderick Grant »

But for the replaced top, this seems in remarkably unaltered condition. The price might be on the modest side for something that might well be mounted in a museum ... unless, as DRN suggests, there are a slew of these in various states of decay in basements and garages around Buffalo.

PrairieMod
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Post by PrairieMod »

The only auction comparable I can find (without photo, sadly) was a similar desk sold at Christie's in 1993 as part of the dissolution of the Domino's collection:

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot/ ... 2600807b15

This item went for $32,200 and had the letter slots and was probably in better condition. If anyone has this auction catalog handy, they could check:

http://auctioncatalogs.com/wp-content/u ... llsize.jpg

Other Larkin furniture pieces have passed through Wright20 and Sotheby's over the years for a variety of prices, but my guess is that in today's relatively depressed market for Wright items (a Coonley window just went for under $10k at a recent Toomey auction) $45k for this desk is a stretch.

peterm
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Post by peterm »

You're probably right. At the same time, it's priceless as an historical artifact.

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The David Hanks book of Domino's pieces doesn't include a desk, only an armchair on casters. Perhaps they hadn't yet acquired their desk when the book was published ?

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

Steinerag cones to the rescue again. (Scroll)

http://www.steinerag.com/flw/Artifact%2 ... Chairs.htm


Date: 1981
Title: Desk Chair 1903. Larkin Administration Building Desk and Chair (1903 - S.093) 1981.

Description: Chair Example C: Desk with attached chair that automatically folds in. Chairs would not have to be moved, increasing the efficiency of cleaning the large office building. The design was to Brown painted steel, black leather seat and back on the chair. Desk: 43 (H) x 48 (W) x 24.5 (D), Chair and base: 31 (H) x 15 (W) x 16.5 (D). It appears that three styles were created. Photography by Thomas A. Heinz. Acquired from Kelmscott Galleries.

Size: One 4x5 color photograph.

ST#: 1981.89.0413

SDR
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Post by SDR »

The Kelmscott desk is in such good shape that one suspects it may have been restored. The brown color looks more green in that photo.

What would "Acquired from Kelmscott Galleries" mean, do you suppose. Acquired by whom ? Perhaps the photo is the object acquired . . .

"Automatically folds in" may be a bit of an exaggeration ?

SDR

peterm
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Post by peterm »

http://arcchicago.blogspot.com/2014/11/ ... f.html?m=1

" The show is typical of those put on by the gallery since its opening in December of 1998, initially drawing on the collection of the short-lived Kelmscott Gallery, which specialized in works of Frank Lloyd Wright and was located in the former Krause Music Store, whose ornamented facade was the last major design of Wright's Leiber-Meister ("beloved master"), Louis Sullivan. ArchiTech owner David Jameson was manager at the Kelmscott, and for nine years ran the vintage shop Gallery Kitsch, "known for its outrageous fashion and decor". "

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