A Credenza Mystery

I received a really nice email the other day wondering if I knew the maker of, or had any info on the Brutalist credenza in Don Draper’s new office from Season 4. This is the photo that was attached.

Brutalist Credenza/Dresser

Source: Jonamor Decor

Roger, do you mind moving those chairs for me please?

You know by now I’m a Mid-Century girl at heart, have a date with hubs on Fridays for a few episodes of Mad Men and martinis, but do you think I could sleuth out many details on this piece?

The best I could do was find a few more images, very few details, and no original designer name. Here are the photos I found on Modernica blog.

Brutalist Freeform Credenza

Source: Modernica Blog

I guess Roger was leaving – he didn’t move the chairs for me! With this photo we can see the details of this piece a little better.

So this is what I learned…

This credenza is the ‘Freeform Credenza‘ and it came from Modernica Props in Los Angeles.

Here’s a full view of this very unique piece.

Source: Modernica Props

Did you know that Modernica, a now distinguished manufacturer and designer of Modern furniture, started out as a vintage store? Read more about Modernica here.

If I had to guess the designer influence behind this piece, I would say Phillip Lloyd Powell (1919-2008) and Paul Evans (1931-1987). Did you know Powell and Evans teamed up through the 60’s and 70’s? Read more about their partnership here, but suffice to say their union worked magic as evidenced by the cutting edge designs they created.

Here are some of their incredible pieces, so you can make up your own mind.

Sculptured Black Walnut Wall-Hanging Cabinet

Source: Worthpoint

American Walnut Wall Mounted Console

  Source: 1st Dibs

Black Walnut Amoeba Cabinet

Source: icollector

Walnut Desk

Brutalist Desk

Source: Invaluable

Walnut 2-Door Serving Cabinet

Brutalist Serving Cabinet

Source: Worthpoint

Black Walnut Sofa

Brutalist Sofa

Source: icollector

Pierced & Mirrored Folding Floor Screens

Brutalist Folding Floor Screen

Source: 1st Dibs

When you see the details of these Powell & Evans creations, can you see a similar style in the sexy Freeform credenza that calls Don Draper’s office home?

Here’s one more look…

Source: Modernica Props

I would love to know for sure the influence behind this Modernica credenza, but for now I’ll hand it over to Powell & Evans. I’ve also been informed this piece might actually be inspired by Lane or Witco. If you know something more, or anything different, I would love to hear from you!

Oh, and on the note of Don Draper’s furniture…

Watch for this MCM dresser to appear in Don’s bedroom in Season 5!

Source: Mod Monger Blog

Just say’n 😉

Do you like to know the history of the pieces used in set design? What show’s decor is getting your attention right now?

I love learning behind-the-scenes details, because there’s always more to the set than meets the eye. As I delve deeper, I am awed by the incredible attention to detail that goes into each part and piece of the big picture, and then I laugh at myself for being awed, because isn’t that how it works? As Charles Eames said, ‘The details are not the details. They make the design.’ And that’s the truth behind each and every set design, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

13 Replies to “A Credenza Mystery”

  1. Love to see when people do research!!! That is why I read people’s blogs ……. to learn more about what I love ……. furniture, history and interiors. The fact that Madmen is one of my favorite shows also makes it pretty special too.

  2. Dear Sheila,

    You are a great mid century modern sleuth. Thanks for doing this blog posting and for doing all the research on the history of this dresser. None of the pieces that we are selling, the dresser with mirror, the highboy and the two end tables, have Witco marked, thanks Champloo for the ID. If you look at the link you posted from Vintage & Modern you can see that the seller has the the 3 drawers on the left of the center drawers on the wrong side of the center drawers, so both sides should be swapped. Here is a link to our craigslist post for our set.
    http://losangeles.craigslist.org/lac/atq/3001259812.html

    1. Hi Senor!
      Thank you for being the inspiration behind the scenes! It has been so much fun to tackle this one 🙂 And yikes – you are right about the drawers being on the wrong side… I was so happy to find a larger, more clear image that I didn’t pay attention to the details. So happy you posted your Craigslist link – I wasn’t able to source any photos of the side tables, and now with your link, I’ve seen the side tables too!

    1. Hi Adam!
      Thank you for stopping by! I popped over to your website, and WOW!!! You have some really incredible pieces besides the Witco bedroom suite… I would recommend a visit to anyone wanting Modern vintage furniture. Happy to connect and learn about your business!

  3. Thanks for publishing this. I just happen to own this piece. It was bought for me new when I was a child. I noticed it in Don’s office and have been looking for info on it!

    1. Hi Matt!
      You are so welcome 🙂 Lucky you to own this piece – it’s a beauty and has definitely raised a lot of interest. What an amazing piece to have in your home! Thanks so much for stopping by and for your comment! I appreciate it.

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