Mid Century Furniture
Is this guaranteed mid century furniture or what?
I love going to antique stores, because you never know what you will find. I always feel like I am on a treasure hunt. The problem is, I usually don’t know what I am looking for. I plan things, but not when I am shopping. So a treasure hunt without a specific goal is my thing.
My favorite store is a huge rambler with a main floor and a basement. I haven’t gone to the barn yet, to see what there is there, because I have too much fun in the main store. They have lots of vendors, so there is a lot of different items, tastes, and prices to go through.
I was looking for something to do over the holidays. Something small, but something that would require elbow grease or creativity. Between you and me, I really hate having nothing to do. I had no idea what I was looking for. I was possibly thinking of an end table, but not even sure if that is what would strike my fancy. I saw the table I discussed in another post, Table Top Repair!, but at that time I wasn’t really sure about doing something that ambitious. Read that post and you will see why.
Sit back, and let me tell you my story.
I couldn’t find anything on the main floor that fit the bill. I made my way downstairs, where the bigger furniture was. That is where some of the coolest pieces are to be discovered, if you are paying attention. I was walking through, about ready to give up. As I neared the end of the basement, a table and chairs caught my eye. It had two chairs set up, and it looked like possibly two more chairs were folded. The chairs looked like solid wood, and had green vinyl on the seat and back, with rivets attaching one to the other. There appeared to be no big rips in the vinyl. I could not really see the table, because it appeared to be just the top leaning up against the wall, not a full table. I wasn’t even sure if they were the same pieces or not. I rushed over and started to examine it. I flipped one of the chairs over and saw a label, which I’d hardly ever been able to find on anything else I had purchased before.
Solid Kumfort? The Folding Chair? Louis Rastetter? Who the heck was that? The label was still in good shape. I looked up the name Rastetter on my phone (thank goodness for data plans and service that works in the middle of nowhere), and found out they were a furniture company in Indiana that started in the 1880s, and went out of business in the 1960s. According to Historycenterfw, they were the inventors of the folding chair. The website also said it was a collector’s item if it was still in prestine condition. Hmmm.
I looked at what appeared to be the table top. It felt kind of greasy and grimy. It had a green inlay top to it that matched the chairs. I moved it away from the wall to get a better look at it. It was part of the set! It had legs; folding legs! It even had a leaf in it, that was stopped from a fall by old twine! There was a price tag on the table, but none on the chairs. The tag didn’t say if the price was for the table only or for the full set. I had no clue how much it was.
What was I looking at? A table set that was at least fifty years old. A complete set. With a label to prove who made it. Granted, it didn’t have a manufacturing date, but what furniture does? Only the fancy schmancy stuff from way back when. The vinyl was still in good shape, with just a couple of scratches and one tiny cut. It was filthy, but it was pretty in my eyes. I’d never seen anything like it before. I could picture it in my living room, surrounded by books. I could see old geezers sitting at the table, drinking beer, smoking cigars, and playing poker, with real money, not chips.
A Discovery about myself
That was when it dawned on me I liked mid century style. I always thought I liked the antique look. but as I thought about the pieces I’d found, I realized the 40s-60s was me. How funny, since that is the same music I like.
Back to the Story
I was trying not to be enthusiastic, as there were a few other people in the basement with me. A couple of them were looking at the same pieces. If this was the find I thought it was, I needed to move fast! I took a couple of pictures of the stuff on my phone, and literally flew on wings up the stairs to the counter. I showed the cashier the pictures, told her where it was, and said I wasn’t sure if the price tag was for the table or for the full set. She said it was for the full set! I said “I’ll take it! I have cash!”
I had my first piece of confirmed mid century furniture! Yeah!
PS. I contacted The Furniture Detective, sent him some pictures, and he told me the vinyl was definitely not original, but the furniture itself was probably made in the 30s or 40s.