Most underwhelming attribution to Don S. Shoemaker – part 2

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Trying to find answers to my question about the lack of better research, I remembered that in 2007  Banamex published a book in Mexico titled “Vida y Diseño en México Siglo XX” (Life & Design in Mexico XX Century), some pages were dedicated to Don S. Shoemaker´s furniture designs. Pitiful I found it totally misleading. Unfortunately the research work done for this chapter was extremely poor: Don´s furniture pieces depicted are dated to have been produced in his childhood during the 30´s and 40’s! Don did not establish himself in Mexico until 1947, so, how could he have produced furniture pieces in tropical woods before this date? On top of that, in 2009 the exhibition “125 years of Design in Mexico” took place at the Palacio de Cultura Banamex in Mexico City, some Don S. Shoemaker furniture pieces were shown including the ones published in the book, and again, the curator dated the pieces to be from the 1930´s and 1940´s. I contacted the curator at that time and she did not correct the dates, she knew better. I wonder.

  • This supposedly Don Shoemaker desk was offered on Ebay Mexico (Mercado Libre) for an equivalent of around $ 3,500 USD. This recently produced laminated desk shows wood types that are currently available in the market. Don´s desk designs (which I will be posting separately) were produced in tropical woods (rosewood, rosewood variants as well as cocobolo). I had the opportunity to see two of these on a sidewalk of a flea market in Mexico City.


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Most underwhelming attribution to Don S. Shoemaker – part 1

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I have seen a wide range of fakes or attributed furniture pieces on sale on the web, magazines, flea markets and even on renowned galleries.

I have questioned myself many times: what motivates curators, gallery owners, writers, as well as the public to rely in good faith on certain traders and see betrayed their trust, if by following some very simple rules (see mantra below), it would be the most reliable filter to avoid being cheated. In a prestigious magazine I have seen published on prime time a desk that Shoemaker never designed; exhibited pieces in fairs that are not Shoemaker´s, and in galleries happens exactly the same. Does this mean, that any furniture piece that was produced in rosewood or cocobolo is attributable to Don S. Shoemaker? I invite curators, gallery owners, auction houses, writers and the general public to make a deeper research on the pieces they are being offered, as we Shoemaker collectors do around the world! I keep close contact with collectors in Germany, UK, France, the US and even some in the Orient, and we all coincide that the best defense not to be deceived is to bear in mind like a MANTRA: if the piece seems odd,  if the leather is brand new, the wood looks new and smells like new, and carries no label or stamp or is taped, then it is a forgery or a brand new copy !

This is an invitation to fight for the purity of Don S. Shoemakers lifetime work that I am sure every owner of a chair, stool or table of the real SEÑAL, S.A. production will share with me as long as when you own, care and cherish you solid tropical wood piece you become a “Shoemakeristi” and we do not want the corruption of his distinctive designs and name.

When in doubt, you can also visit my Blog about Don S. Shoemaker Furniture at:
for continuous updates and discussions.

Here I will show the most underwhelming attribution examples I have come across so far on Don S. Shoemaker furniture pieces:

  • This  “apple” chair – attributed to  Don S. Shoemaker – with forged Don S. Shoemaker label taped to the wood. Produced in very light ordinary pine wood, oil painted, the theme is an apple.  The painting is so precious to the crook, that he wrapped it in plastic to preserve his brand new piece of art. I have to apologize for the bad quality of these pictures, as they were taken on a very narrow sidewalk of a flea market.

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