The versatile Parsons Line – Tables for table freaks

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The Parsons Line is probably Don S. Shoemaker´s most rectilinear and functional furniture design line. This time he overlooks the charms of nature in favor of a rigorous abstract approach to design. While there were significant changes in the manufacturing techniques of the post-war time like aluminum casting and bonding wood, this industrial furniture production brought back the concept of built-in obsolescence or disposable furniture. As a response to this movement Don maintained the principles of craftsmanship and use of precious woods that are evident in this line which most purely expresses immutability, strength and vastness. He kept loyal to his principle of beauty and handcrafted furniture.

This line included everything that his passionate followers and collectors could think of to have their homes or flats completely furnished á la Shoemaker: coordinating suites of furniture for living room and dining room, matching cabinets and sideboards, all kinds of table sizes, service carts, office as well as bedroom sets, etc. I will try to present all of them to you within a reasonable period of time.

I will start with the Parsons tables, as there were a total of 11 different sizes to choose from! No other of Don´s design lines had this versatile number of table sizes and shapes.

The vintage SEÑAL, S.A. catalog page above shows us three Parsons table sizes: a rectangular dining table, a side table and a square coffee table. The design of these tables is pure and rectilinear. All of the Parsons tables came with a clean parquetry top and were produced in rosewood. Here we have a pair of Parsons tables coming in different sizes:

These tables were meant to fit in your living room, your dining room, your bedroom, your office, or any imaginable space to keep your home impregnated with the unmistakable Shoemaker style! Personally, I prefer Don´s organic design lines, but a significant number of his clients favored these furniture pieces.

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved.

@donshoemaker.com

The “Parsons” cabinet

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Don S. Shoemaker´s cabinets were the most impressive and expensive tropical woods furniture pieces to admire at SEÑAL, S.A. These superbly crafted luxuriant pieces are a true furniture statement, produced in very limited numbers, the perfect match to harmonize with your Don S. Shoemaker dining room set, or together with a “Descanso” set, maybe to furnish your library combined with some Sling Swinger chairs or just to decorate your office.

The “Parsons” cabinet presented here today is part of my personal collection. It has been in my family for more than 30 years and still looking absolutely astonishing! This cabinet made in cocobolo belongs to the “Parsons” line (which included complete dining room sets, office furniture, coffee tables, living room sets, bedroom sets, etc.) all produced with parquetry in cocobolo or rosewood), it has a unique and timeless sliding doors design, also pay attention to the color of the parquetry: a warm and nice dark patina, a result to the aging process.

Notice the inside finish of the drawer (see picture). As already discussed in another post, the wood inner face that has not been exposed to the sunlight normally has a much lighter color than the outside, as the sunlight darkens the wood. However, the key point here is to remember one of Don´s trademarks: perfect craftsmanship with drawers always made in solid tropical woods. Of course, this elegant piece carries the Don S. Shoemaker decal studio label.

I have seen forgeries with the drawer front produced in cueramo wood, the drawer sides finished with cheap pine wood and a plastic laminated bottom (see picture)

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

@donshoemaker.com