Friday, June 1, 2012

a fun furniture find: john stuart armoire

The remodel is done and, finally, the fun begins. I have been searching high and low for an appropriate armoire to replace this glorious shabby chic monolith in the master bedroom. We actually had this made 15 years ago to house our TV in the living room.

Shabby Chic Armoire
Shabby Chic Armoire - not mid-modern appropriate
and recently sold on Craig's List for $40, I'll take it.

I kept putting the words "mid-century modern armoire" into eBay and Craig's List. I had a couple of restrictions. Albert said he didn't care for "light wood." What does that even mean? I had to listen to him because a condition of the bathroom remodel was Albert could move his clothes into the master (meaning he got a closet), and he got some sort of dresser in the master bedroom (all his stuff was previously in the guest room).

Another condition was the new armoire needed to coordinate a tiny bit with the walnut Canadian Baronet bedroom set we purchased about 13 years ago right after Alex was born. It was a really nice set at the time,  and has a little modern edge -- so it stays. We have the 6-drawer dresser, the bed and an end table. I sold the lingerie chest at the Home Consignment Center last week as well (too much matchy, matchy and the lingerie chest was a really awkward size for the room).

Baronet Java Collection
We have the bed, the 6 drawer dresser and two  1-drawer nightstands
(although we only use one of them).


I saw what I thought was this exact same furniture collection being sold in NYC at Jensen-Lewis, a modern style furniture store, this past March. But it wasn't quite the same. Upon closer inspection, someone else is making an almost exact look-alike of the Canada Baronet bedroom set, Stowe out of Vermont, and it now costs a fortune. You never know what you will discover while researching a blog post.

Eventually this little beauty came up on eBay.

John Stuart Armoire


 A John Stuart Danish armoire, probably circa 1950. I did a bit of quick research on John Stuart and found a lot of gorgeous pieces, and a little bit of information. From an informational piece on OneofaKindAntiques: "John L. Stuart started John Stuart, Inc. in 1934 with his partners Herbert M. Rothschild and Herman S. Gelbin. Stuart also owned the famous John Widdicomb Company. The Stuart showroom became one of the premier Modern Show rooms in the world showing Scandinavian designs. It was the only air-conditioned showroom in NYC in 1940." 

Seller said "make an offer," so very casually, without really thinking, I made an offer $600 below the asking price to a number that seemed **ahem** reasonable. Within 2 minutes I had a congratulations email. Sheesh. Should have bid lower. Soon thereafter, I read the fine print in the listing. The seller didn't go through PayPal and you have to arrange your own shipping. From New Jersey. Ouch. I really screwed up. But because I have bought and sold on eBay for years, I know better then to try to get out of a purchase. It was time to man up. I had to arrange out-of-state-shipping. It wasn't cheap, but it was really easy to do.

Within two weeks, two huge guys struggled to bring this little beauty down our rocky path, into the back bedroom door. It was really heavy. After they got it in the bedroom and left, I couldn't jiggle it into the exact correct place, and had to wait for Alex and Albert to shove it into place. Solid Danish Walnut, probably from the early 1950's.

Albert gets it all to himself. Lucky guy.

John Stuart Armoire
In place so you can visualize the scale, see a glimpse of the Baronet Bed?

John Stuart Armoire
Another view. The silver is cool metal strips.
Here are the original listing photos which really show it off. When all was said and done, this turned out to be an investment piece, but honestly, it is a really nice addition to the bedroom and perfect mid-century modern.

John Stuart Armoire


John Stuart Armoire

John Stuart Armoire

John Stuart Armoire


John Stuart Armoire

John Stuart Armoire

John Stuart Armoire

11 comments:

  1. Gosh, thank you for solving the myster with our Baronet 13 year old BR suite -- I've been looking for more pieces and stumbled on the "Stowe" version but something was fishy. I will stick to the original if I can find it. Need a dresser or armoire.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it interesting? A few weeks after I posted this, a woman contacted me and wondered if I had the other nightstand and if I would be willing to sell it. Same problem, trying to find other pieces to match. She had stumbled on the "new" Baronet and was emphatic that it didn't really match. I took a closer look online and she was absolutely right.

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    2. Hi! I live in Salt Lake City and have a Java 6 drawer dresser I would like to sell. We bought it right before Baronet went out if business when the economy collapsed. We held into it hoping they would start production again, but ended up buying a different set. It is in very good condition if anyone is interested. You can email me at nickijfuller@gmail.com

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    3. I sold the lingerie chest in a consignment store and got pretty good money for it.

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  2. what a find!!! I love it with the bed.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks very much. I was really happy with the way it went with the bed without being all "matchy matchy" not that there is anything wrong with that.

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  3. Smith Interiors appears to be selling the original Java Collection. Check them out. Smithinteriors.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do have pieces which will coordinate but won't be exactly the same. "A great match to the original Java Collection by Baronet!" Good tip! http://smithinteriors.com/prices/bedroompricelist.html

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  4. Rebecca...I have a John Stuart set (4) of curved, interlocking, triangle shaped end tables...Model # 523...Patent # 177678...circa late 1950's...solid teak with brass legs...bought by my parents in Grand Rapids Michigan. Any idea of there value or where I can view any more of his works. Imight have some other of his pieces. Thanks Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They sound wonderful. I am sorry but I am not familiar with them or their potential value. You can search eBay for completed auctions and see if anything similar comes up. You are lucky to have more of his pieces! Beautiful stuff.

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    2. http://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/tables/end-tables/peter-hvidt-john-stuart-side-tables/id-f_691094/

      Are these the end tables you are talking about?

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