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

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lexi
 lexi
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07/06/2020 4:33 pm  

@ball-2. I am lost for words; Fabulous. What a fantastic job ! It looks amazing. I can't believe how well it turned out. 🤑 

Thank you for sharing.

A "hausbüro", perfect for the times we find ourselves in. 😷 Working from home will be all the more satisfying for you now !!

Enjoy.

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mark737
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07/06/2020 6:56 pm  

Yes, looks great!  Thanks for sharing.  To add to our collection of desks in boxes, here's another one I picked up recently.  It has a roll-up tambour door on top and doors below.  This one, and all others I found online, is unmarked, so no idea who made them.  Most are teak with a natural finish but this one has a walnut finish.    

1591548973-TD8.jpg

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ball
 ball
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08/06/2020 1:22 am  

Thank you Mark & Lexi, I appreciate your comments

Regards

Wayne


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ball
 ball
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08/06/2020 11:35 am  

And that's an interesting variation Mark!

From what I remember those roll up door desks were late 60's and being teak would also quantify circa 60's


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lexi
 lexi
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08/06/2020 9:57 pm  

@mark737.Found one like yours, even with the same handles. Made in Yugoslavia stamp on the back.Unless that is just the stamp for manufacturer of backboard !!

1591646266-made-in-Yugoslavia-stamp-magic-box-Mark.jpg

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mark737
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08/06/2020 10:37 pm  

@lexi   - thanks for tracking that down!  It's probably a safe bet they were all made in Yugoslavia.  


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luciferstar680
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12/06/2020 4:13 pm  
Posted by: mark737

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 here over particle board and no lamp for best automatic dive watch under 1000.  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 is a great piece of art. i am feeling great to see this1


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mark737
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06/08/2021 4:10 pm  

@lexi  Saw this in a shop yesterday and went home and reread this thread - hard to believe it's been almost two years since first posting.  This one is different than any of the others I've seen.  The cabinet is in what appears to be a figured maple with the ends finished in black, and with a black base with a cross stretcher connecting the feet.  The maple and black, and the Greek key trim around the top, give it a vaguely Art Deco look.  The pull-out desktop has a center "drawer" that you pull out first to support the desk surface.  This is an awkward design and made me think maybe this was a hobbyist version.  The shop had it labeled as a bar, which might make more sense given the base and "desktop" design, but the shelves are not set up for bottles and glasses.   Anyway, one more for the collection.       

1628259013-MBD1.jpg
1628259033-MBD2.jpg

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lexi
 lexi
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06/08/2021 4:41 pm  

@mark737. Yes time is passing very quickly !

That is a strange  "beast" indeed.

If memory serves, I recall seeing one or two Magic Boxes with that same cross piece between the feet. Didn't save images tho as none were marked.

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lexi
 lexi
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02/04/2022 6:13 pm  

@mark737. Another Norwegian version. Also with lamp, in different position. Basically the same as the other Norwegian one just a little difference in the side partition outline.

1648916016-office-in-a-box-DA.jpg
1648916051-office-in-a-box-DA-norway.jpg

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mark737
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03/04/2022 4:44 pm  

@lexi  Thanks for sharing.  I recently learned that the Google Lens app allows you to translate text from photos like this in seconds.  Here is the English translation.  

 

1648997069-Modum.jpg

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lexi
 lexi
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03/04/2022 5:02 pm  

@mark737. Thanks for the heads up on the translate function on that Google app. Will make life a lot easier!!

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Silverbug
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25/05/2022 5:36 pm  

Thank you for the write up on the history of the Magic Box.  There isn’t a lot of information out there, this has been helpful in researching our own.  It doesn’t have markings, so our thought is that it was a Taiwanese model, but I haven’t seen another magic box desk with a similar carved pattern in the doors and back.

1653492994-524773C5-D5E5-4CC4-9ED4-4D6DA9EDD0C4.jpeg

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Silverbug
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25/05/2022 5:38 pm  

And a photo of it open as well. 

1653493128-C8AEB487-31BF-49BB-B55B-96F3F0F8723D.jpeg

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lonzobrown
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07/06/2022 11:07 pm  
Posted by: mark737

@lexi   - thanks for tracking that down!  It's probably a safe bet they were all made in Yugoslavia.  

You get that


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