Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Credenza: Part 2

Picking up from yesterday's part 1 post...

I love finding these pieces, but one of the best parts is doing the research to date the item and determine the manufacturer and name. There was no label on this credenza. I did some poking around and found an ink stamped date of September 16, 1963 on the underside of the top.

On the opposite side of the interior of the piece I found the number 887 embossed into the wood. Next to that was an IBM sticker.

I started to get excited! Why so excited when I saw the IBM sticker? Back in the day I worked for a dealer of Herman Miller and Knoll contract/residential furniture (that's where my furniture obsession started). It seemed that all of the larger corporations would spring for good quality/iconic furniture for their offices. IBM=large corporation=quality/iconic furniture.

Here she is! Old girl is a little rough around the edges:

I still did not know her name, so I asked the Facebook and Twitter homies and got almost immediate responses that this looked to be a Knoll piece from the Florence Knoll collection. Baaaaahhhh, I die!

Then I took to 1stdibs and quickly found my credenza, albeit in much better condition, for about $3,000! No way...I die...again!

The photos of other pieces like mine helped to answer a few questions I posed in part 1 of this post: The leather straps are meant to be the pulls to slide the doors open/closed and the single hole originally had a locking mechanism.

This will be our (me and the hubster, he has still agreed to help!) first redo. This will not be a rushed job since a) we don't know what we are doing, b) I don't want to jack up this cool piece of mid century goodness, and c) I want to do this piece justice with a good restoration.

Now, I turn to you my friends! I have questions and am hoping some of my mid-century loving followers can help! 

1. What to do about the laminate top. Everything is solid wood except for a thin piece of laminate on the top. This piece has some faint scratches. Any way to restore the top?
2. What is the exact manufacturers name of this piece? Florence Knoll credenza/Florence Knoll buffet/Florence Knoll for Knoll credenza, etc...?
3. Is the number 887 a style number or maybe an order of production number?
4. The newer production Florence Knoll line has the legs at the outer corners of the furniture piece and not tucked underneath like the original production. Why?

Please pass this post along to those in the know who might not be followers of this blog 'cause I need all of the help I can get on this redo!

If you want to see all of the pics I took go to the album here.



    These two guys appear to know everything there is to know about this stuff!

    1. I sent a message to mr mod and a mod line is a follower here. Thanks for the suggestions AY!

    2. Hi ayoung70 & Rachael. For real...I don't know that much. I learn as I go. Truth is, I don't know too much about this credenza. As for the Formica (I assume) top, if it is just really light scratches maybe try a good car wax? In any event, it's gonna be a great "entertainment center" when you get it all sorted out!

    3. Thanks for stopping over with the words of advice Mr Mod! Will try the car wax, it can't hurt. The redo wont be started for a few weeks because of a family vacation, but when it gets going, I will be sure to post updates!

    4. I'd have to agree with Mr. Mod that some Turtle wax may help the top. If you have scratches in laminate finishes there is not too much to be done short of replacing and likely too much trouble for this project. Depending on the rest of the damage to the piece, you may want to start with just some 0000 steel wool and some Howards Restore-A - Finish or maybe some good teak oil before you decide to totally take back to bare wood..l

    5. I will try the 0000 steel wool on some spots, but I am afraid some of the areas are beyond steel wool :(
      I have a feeling the turtle wax will work on the top and if not, I will cover it with a retro-tastic table runner!
      Thanks for your guidance :)

  2. Joe and I were so happy for you when we saw your picture yesterday! I bet the Knoll Museum in Pennsylvania has archival information they will share if you email them.

    I can't wait to see your redo.

    1. Knoll museum!! I had no idea! Thanks for the suggestion :)

  3. WOW what an awesome find!!! I've also been looking for a mid century credenza/sideboard, but haven't have any luck yet. Maybe I'll hit the jackpot at a garage sale like you did!

  4. Fantastic find and for $5! Yes, I'll take 10 please :)