Monday, July 16, 2012

lenoir house bedroom furniture - broyhill's second cousin

Acquiring a Broyhill bedroom set is the ultimate Valhalla for mid-century modern collectors with the Brasila line being particularly distinctive. A search on eBay for Brasilia furniture reveals an endless supply of gorgeous pieces (an original Brasilia brochure compliments of BrasiliaConnection.com).

Here is a beautiful Brasilia dresser/credenza on stewzannethingsilike.
Brasilia Dresser

Turns out my mom and dad's bedroom set is Brasilia's second cousin. I went over to their house a few weeks ago when I was picking up albums to research my mom's passion for mid-century modern furniture, and decided to take a closer look at their bedroom set as I remembered that it really looked like "something" but what was it?




Mom's dresser and mirror -  very similar to the look & feel of Brasilia.

My son and I searched a fair amount of drawers looking for any distinguishing marks, turning furniture upside down and moving it away from walls while taking the pictures, but we didn't search "every drawer" which was suggested over at Retro Renovation's thrifty finds picture uploader. Donna to the rescue. My mom remembered that there was a tag left in the nightstand. She sent me a copy of the tag:




It indicates the set was made by Lenoir, a division of Broyhill. The set appears to be solid walnut, however there is this burl wood veneer on it which I think is what the Egyptian reference to veneer is on the tag. More research about Lenoir reveals that in the early 60's, Broyhill put its upscale products like Brasila into its Premier line. And it grouped its remaining, mid-priced products "under the label 'Lenoir House,' which included a variety of medium-priced, moderate styles of bedroom and dining room furniture that made up the bulk of the company's sales" (from the History of Broyhill Furniture, Inc.). My mom and dad purchased the set in 1964 in Ohio. It is an excellent example of mid-century modern furniture, for sure, and still looks classically modern (rather than vintage) today.


Lenoir House mid-century modern dresser Broyhill
Lenoir House mid-century modern dresser

Lenoir House mid-century modern dresser Broyhill
Another view of the Lenior House mid-century modern dresser & mirror.
A division of Broyhill.

detail on handles mid-century modern dresser lenoir house a division of Broyhill
Lenoir House, a division of Broyhill. Detail on handles & burl wood trim.

Lenoir house a division of Broyhill dresser
Drawer dove tails and stain.

Lenoir House a division of Broyhill dresser with doors open
Dresser doors open to reveal more drawers. Very typical of mid-century modern style.

Lenoir House, a division of Broyhill mid-century modern dresser
The model number, for whatever that is worth.
Revealed nothing in an online search.

Men's chest - Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill mid-century modern
Men's chest - Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill
mid-century modern chest of drawers.

Men's chest - Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill mid-century modern chest of drawers.
Another close up of handles and burl wood trim.

Men's chest - Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill mid-century modern
Really pretty piece; Burl wood veneer and walnut.

Night stand - Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill
Night stand - Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill

Night stand - Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill
Another view  - night stand - Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill 

Queen size headboard,  Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill
Queen size headboard,  Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill 

Queen size headboard,  Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill
Queen size headboard,  Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill.
You can see the burl wood trim very well here.

Queen size headboard,  Lenoir House a Division of Broyhill
Close up of the headboard and the burl wood trim.
Again, just like with the rest of her mid-century modern furniture purchases, Mom's classic taste shows through. I am impressed.

Related post: 

7 comments:

  1. Beautiful set! I haven't seen one like it. The burl trim and the pulls are gorgeous.

    We sell a good bit of Brasilia. In fact, we just sold a dining set a few days ago and have a few more pieces in the warehouse. Maybe it's because I see so much of it, but I don't get as excited about it as I once did. I'd much rather have a set like your parents' in my own home.

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    1. Hi Dana! I kept thinking about their bedroom set and curious what the story was. I think the Broyhill Brasilia is really cool and would like to have a piece, just to say so. They have a "short" credenza I think that I could use (with a shelf under it). Let me know if you ever see one in the store.

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  2. Furniture is now not only used at home but also used everywhere, it may be office, hospital, educational institute, club, theater, small or big organizations etc. Furniture present in market in many models with different prices. Taking proper care of furniture is very important otherwise the value of furniture depreciate.

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  3. My Uncle William E Stevens was the force behind creating The Brasilia Collection by Broyhill. At that time 196w he was Executive Vice President of Broyhill Furniture and his major responsibilities were product advertising and marketing. He did not necessarily have any furniture design talent but did have an intellectual appreciation for all things "Renaissance". In 1960 the country of Brazil embarked on relocating its Capital City from Rio de Janiero to Brasilia which was desolate and void of anything. The country designed and built an entire city from scratch. As mentioned in this site In 1956, Niemeyer was invited by Brazil's new president, Juscelino Kubitschek, to design the civic buildings for Brazil's new capital, which was to be built in the centre of the country, far from any existing cities. His designs for the National Congress of Brazil, the Cathedral of Brasília, the Palácio da Alvorada, the Palácio do Planalto, and the Supreme Federal Court, all designed by 1960, were experimental and linked by common design elements. This work led to his appointment as inaugural head of architecture at the University of Brasília, as well as honorary membership of the American Institute of Architects.
    Uncle Bill was fascinated by this huge urban development and visited Brazil and met with Niemeyer with the idea of creating the Brasilia Collection by Broyhill and introducing it at the Seattle Worlds Fair in 1962 at the Brazil Exhibition. In that day WORLD FAIR'S were huge extravaganzas where people could have a glimpse of the future. Disneyland, Disney World are creations born from those exhibitions.
    Uncle Bill met the Peresident of Brazil Juscelino Kubitschek, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juscelino_Kubitschek, who took a special interest in the furniture collection development. They spent months back and forth with our furniture designers and the Brazilians with Niemeyer taking a lead, as well. The Collection captured the archetectural look and design of the new Capital, Brasilia. There were ceremonies there celebrating its introduction. The following year the President Kubitschek was overthrown and a military dictatorship took over the country. He was accused of corruption and was exiled. The furniture Collection was a major departure from Broyhill Furniture but it was a success. In fact, of all the Broyhill furniture Collections created over the nearly 100 years of existence the Brasilia Collection is the most valuable as it was the most authentic design and creation in collaboration with one of the world's most historical architects. There have been many other Collections created at BRoyhill which were more successful from a sales revenue standpoint. For example, the Fontana Collection of Broyhill made in the 1980s and 90s was the most popular and largest in sales volume ever in the entire industry worldwide. Broyhill was the World's largest furniture manufacturer at that time.
    Uncle Bill Stevens passed away in the early 1980s stricken by cancer. The Brasilia Collection stands as a memorial to his wonderful life.
    I am Ed Broyhill, namesake and grandson of J. E. "Ed Broyhill forunder of Broyhill Furniture Industries. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/broyhill-furniture-industries-inc-history/

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  6. I came across this post today and wanted to thank you for shedding light on a furniture mystery I've been trying to solve for some time. I have what looks to be a Lenoir House 4 drawer highboy dresser. I purchased it at a thrift store last year and, like you, I didn't see any distinctive marks anywhere on it. However, the stamped number pattern is similar to the one on the back of my piece. It may have only been Broyhill's mid-range line but it's built like a tank and has handsome inlay accents and drawer pulls. I think I'll keep it around for a while! Thank you!

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