Q & A ~ Can you identify this piece?

An anonymous inquiry came via email: “I came across a cool mid-century coffee table. Glass oval top. Wooden boomerang/antler like legs. Any insight to name/age? Thank you in advance…[It] was found in my fathers attic during a move and posted on Craigslist.” He added that people have offered more than 4x what he listed it at and, “I wanted to make sure I wasn’t selling a Van Gogh.” Here goes…

"Boomerang" table (1)
"Boomerang" table (2)
"Boomerang" table (3)

With a hunch but not 100% sure, Gadora deferred to a dear friend with mad online search skills.

Within a few minutes, she’d offered up some style for thought. “It immediately made me think of Isamu Noguchi, so I first searched “Noguchi-style table.” Originally manufactured by Herman Miller, the simple design consists of three elements: a glass top and two interlocking wood base pieces.

Noguchi Coffee Table

Another search for “Mid-century curved wood table glass top” yielded “Pearsall.” Adrian Pearsall who founded Craft Associates, which he later sold to the Lane Company, is widely known for his floating sofas and wood-accent seating. He also invented the beanbag chair, according to the AFHF. A few examples of his tables can be found online.

Pearsall ~ Craft Associates, 1960's

A search for “Pearsall style table” yielded Vladimir Kagan. Both Pearsall and Kagan, along with Noguchi, made furniture in the biomorphic style ~ an art movement that began in the 20th century, with nature influencing design by abstract shapes. Kagan’s sculptured Coffee Table:

Vladimir Kagan "Sculptured Coffee Table"

Still not quite at the “boomerang” coffee table in question, Gadora’s little birdie also found a reference to Kagan, in a pair of walnut end tables sold, for $795, at Vintage and Modern. If you’ve got any insight, do tell.

Kagan-style Biomorphic tables

• • •

Other great resources for identifying Mid-century Modern furnishings:

Architonic.com ~ Daily Inspiration in Architecture and Design

Design Addict ~ Resource for modern, post-modern and contemporary design of the 20th-21st centuries.

Mid-Century Modernist ~ “If good design is a balance of aesthetics and utility, the craft peaked in the years between 1945–1970,” Stephen Coles.

Spinario ~ Minneapolis, Mid-Century Modern Design

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8 thoughts on “Q & A ~ Can you identify this piece?

  1. I don’t know who did the 4-legged table at the top, but the two 3-legged side tables are by Forest Wilson, a Chicago based Mid Century Modern furniture designer. Wilson died in 1972 (his obituary ran in the Chicago Tribune on May 19, 1972) and since then his designs have been passed off as others, such as his low version of the 3-legged tables, which is being described on Ebay as “Pearsall Kagan- Mid Century Modern boomerang biomorphic style Coffee Table,” but it is Wilson’s, for which Wilson had a 1961 patent: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/pdfs/US3074771.pdf

  2. Oops. Sent before checking for typos. I meant to say:

    I also have the same coffee table. I was recently told that it is likely Vladimir Kagan, however, I cannot find any definitive information on the internet. I am very interested as I want to sell my table.

  3. I know its been years, but do you remember what you found out of this table i just inherited 2 and have been looking everywhere for information.

  4. Would you consider selling the base of the table. I had one myself that was accidentally broken, looking for a replacement.

    1. Hello Kristin, I’m sure the table (and base) are long gone. The gentleman (the referenced anonymous emailer) inquired about its value because he hoped to sell it. Do hope you find a suitable replacement. Thanks though for your inquiry.

  5. If you find out more information, then please let me know…..I have the same coffee table with matching end tables…….

    1. I also have the same coffee table was recently told it is likely Vladimir Kagan. However, I can find any definitive information on the internet.

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