Design Addict

Cart

Magic Box Desk - Wo...
 

Magic Box Desk - Wooton, Mummenthaler & Meier, and Taiwan  

Page 1 / 5
  RSS

mark737
(@mark737)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 2025 years ago
Posts: 777
19/11/2019 6:30 am  

Came across a "magic box" foldout desk in a cabinet today and thought I'd share some of my research since there's a lot of conflicting info online.  These desks appear to be modern versions of the Wooton desk, introduced by the Wooton Desk Company of Indianapolis in 1874.  Mummenthaler and Meier, Swiss architects and designers, designed a modern version in 1928.  Listings for their version mostly say they were made in 1950's and 1960's and list Switzerland,  Denmark, Germany, and the UK as countries of manufacture.  None appeared to be marked or tagged to confirm.  The version shown in the first photo with the pull out wood lamp seems to be their original design.  

Another version, shown in second photo, has a blue metal lamp.  One listing of this style showed it with a "Made in Norway"  stamp and some attribute this version to Leif Elvestad.

A third version, which is the one I came across today, has teak veneers over particle board and no lamp.  It looks Scandinavian but has a "Made in Taiwan, Republic of China" sticker on the back. I found two others online with Taiwan labels, one with a makers label for John's Fine Furniture of Taichung Taiwan.  Most listings for this version, which I'd guess are from the 70's, say they are from Denmark.  But with no marks or labels, I would bet all are from Taiwan.   

Anyone have any additional info on these desks?  

 

1574141437-MG-Mum.jpg
1574141478-MG-Norway.jpg
1574141500-MG_Tai.jpg
This topic was modified 3 years ago 2 times by mark737

Quote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
19/11/2019 8:09 am  

@mark737. A vintage advert for a Norwegian version. According to the person who posted this image it is from a newspaper dated May 5th 1967. No other info given.

1574147372-folding-desk-FB-and-DA.jpg

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


mark737 liked
ReplyQuote
mark737
(@mark737)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 2025 years ago
Posts: 777
19/11/2019 5:13 pm  

Thanks @lexi I see it has the little metal lamp, which supports what I've found -  that this version was produced in Norway.  Here's a shot of one showing a "Made in Norway" stamp along with an "SK".  

1574179992-Nor-stamp.jpg

ReplyQuote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
19/11/2019 5:43 pm  

@mark737.Maybe you could contact the poster in the link below who claims to have sold one of these pieces with a "Leif Elvestad" signature but does not show an image of same!!! 🤔 

https://www.instagram.com/p/qQGqFxqhW4/

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


ReplyQuote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
19/11/2019 7:01 pm  

@mark737. This German version was made by August Stranghöner Möbelfabrik, Herford, Germany. 

Image of piece and attached label.

1574186464-german-folding-desk-has-label.jpg
1574186533-german-folding-desklabel3.jpg

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


mark737 liked
ReplyQuote
mark737
(@mark737)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 2025 years ago
Posts: 777
19/11/2019 7:51 pm  

@lexi  - Interesting, seems there were several versions made in different countries.  Curious who made the version with the wood lamp. 


ReplyQuote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
19/11/2019 8:42 pm  

@mark737; I have viewed so many of these "magic" boxes I have gone googly eyed and none of the ones with the wooden light show any labels. 😒 

I will keep looking.At this point in time I would consider the German company to be a strong contender. The image I shared seems to be missing the lamp,there is a space there for it, and some shelves. Maybe the light was an option?

 

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


mark737 liked
ReplyQuote
mark737
(@mark737)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 2025 years ago
Posts: 777
19/11/2019 11:01 pm  

@lexi LOL, yeah I think I've looked at 95% of the magic boxes ever made.  I suppose Stranghoner is as likely as any other, though it's odd none of the others has a label. 

On a side note, Stranghoner is on lists of companies that used concentration camp labor during WW2.  There's not much of a record of them online.  Seems like maybe they went our of business or changed names.   


ReplyQuote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
20/11/2019 10:22 am  

@mark737; The French version: produced by Atelier Genestar, Paris.No labels on the furniture but did find a vintage advert. All images I have seen ,of the French production, show the wooden light. Otherwise very similar to the German version.

 

1574241759-folding-desk-genestar-paris-advert-2.jpg
1574241832-folding-desk-genestar-paris-advert.jpg

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


mark737 liked
ReplyQuote
mark737
(@mark737)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 2025 years ago
Posts: 777
22/11/2019 6:44 pm  

@lexi  Thanks for hunting this down.  So maybe all the versions with the wooden lights are from Genestar.  Would make sense if they didn't stamp or label their pieces.  Interesting that the only sites that attribute this version to them are French.   Most English language sites say this version was produced in Switzerland but I haven't seen any evidence of that.   


ReplyQuote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
22/11/2019 7:47 pm  

@mark737. Found this bar cabinet with fridge on a facebook page in Norway. Image of label on the back. Same company as the Norwegian advert I shared previously.

I have tried to add all of the images in the same post but the site is having a "moment".Very annoying

1574449242-silsile-systemer-bar-cabinet-label.jpg

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


ReplyQuote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
22/11/2019 8:04 pm  

Anyways, found a patents application ( in tne USA 1972)  submitted by one " Leif Elvestad" for a bar cabinet with refrigerator.

Will post that image later as each time I edit, to add another image, it replaces the previous image!!

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


ReplyQuote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
22/11/2019 8:06 pm  

@mark737.. All of this info could be completely unconnected but thought I would share . 🤔 

1574449598-leif-elvestad-patent-application-for-bar-cabinet.jpg

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


ReplyQuote
mark737
(@mark737)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 2025 years ago
Posts: 777
22/11/2019 10:08 pm  

@lexi I see this patent entry from 1969 as well and a picture of an example for sale on Mercari in Japan.  Looks like it sold for about $920

1574456913-Elvestadbar.jpg

lexi liked
ReplyQuote
lexi
 lexi
(@lexi)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1207
22/11/2019 11:23 pm  

@mark737. That cabinet is the same as the one I found on facebook, with the label. 

1574461419-bar-cabinet-facebook-norway.jpg

Knowledge shared is Knowledge gained


mark737 liked
ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 5
Share:

If you need any help, please contact us at – forum@designaddict.com

  
Working

Please Login or Register