Careful…Keep your guard up!

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Beware of this new attribution as just found by many of my readers (sorry for the delay of response to all of you, but I am currently far from Paris) at a Vintage Furniture Fair in Mexico City:


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


W A R N I N G !!!

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Beware of these Don S. Shoemaker attributions:


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

The palo fierro dominoes sets from the Seri Natives

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Some time ago I published a post on Don S. Shoemaker´s dominoes sets. These game sets were made in 2 different versions: the “tronco” (organic design box) and the boxed sliding lid models; the former also had a first series with a matching wood lid and the ones produced by George with a see-thru fiberglass lid.

This time I have to bring your attention to these wonderful Mexican handcraft dominoes sets made in ironwood (“palo fierro” for the locals) by the Seri Natives in the northern state of Sonora, Mexico. The “palo fierro” handcrafts include boxes, sculptures, jewelry, etc., they are of a great artistic value and a source of income for this isolated community. So, I ask the help of all my readers to buy these look-alike dominoes sets and the other handicrafts directly from them and help also to stop the swindlers that are selling these dominoes sets as Don S. Shoemaker originals.

Take a close look at the differences between an authentic Don S. Shoemaker “tronco” dominoes box vs. the beautiful dominoes set interpretation from the Seri natives:

The Don S. Shoemaker “tronco” dominoes set:

  • Don never used ironwood (see box below)
  • The tile dots are made in silver, hollowed and sometimes engraved lines (see 2nd picture below)
  • The box always carries the decal studio label



The Seri Natives dominoes sets handcraft:

  • They use ironwood for all their handicrafts
  • The tile dots are painted in white (see picture below)
  • You may also find a “deluxe model” with plain silver dots
  • You can also engrave the name of your brother, friend, etc. for a special gift (Mercado Libre “EBAY MEXICO” search palo fierro – see ad below)
  • It is important to know that I do not endorse any of the sites advertising these handcrafts. But, the only way that I thought we could stop this new wave of alleged “Shoemaker dominoes sets” (that I have seen in galleries, auction houses and weekend flea markets going for $ 300 USD and more) is to buy directly from the producers of these sets knowing that we are not going to get a Shoemaker for $ 12 bucks but we are going to help the Seri natives in Sonora and they are going to be grateful.



Don is going to be proud of you guys because as you know, he was always involved in Charity programs.

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

A discarded prototype from George´s workshop

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George spent a lot of time experimenting with different concepts to further enhance his father´s furniture lines and produce new designs. He was an imaginative designer by his own right and he developed several prototypes, some of them would make it to production, others were discarded.

This was back in the 1990’s and my husband and I spent many hours together with George discussing the amazingly rapid technology changes that we were facing and how these could influence furniture design trends. George had been enthusiastic for some time about the idea to design a VHS storage case. However, when his raw model was almost finished he radically changed his mind after he realized: “VHS technology is not going to last forever….the key of success to my house signature is and will continue to be based on timeless designs“. So, he quickly discarded this sample and stored it away. A few weeks later when we met again he described to us with a great sense of humor the outcome of the “VHS affair”.

Surprisingly this particular discarded prototype has recently been seen in a gallery pretending to be a Don S. Shoemaker “bookcase” from the 1960’s. The pictures below clearly show that the shelves are missing and there are some rather strange dents to accommodate the “books”…

The tropical woods surface of this furniture piece is not even finished…

The upper half of a Don S. Shoemaker label is taped to the back of the “bookcase”…

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

Most underwhelming attribution to Don S. Shoemaker – part 8

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I recently discovered this odd piece of furniture attributed to Don S. Shoemaker at an auction:

  • Described as a “Parsons” side table by Don S. Shoemaker….This forged “model” has been around for some time, I have already seen several versions at weekend flea markets in Mexico City. The original Don S. Shoemaker “Parsons” line has nothing in common with this unbecoming thing! Pitifully, the forger sacrificed various original Don S. Shoemaker service trays for the parquetry on the table top. Pay attention to the irregular cube sequence patched together and compare to an original service tray as Don used the “cube design” mainly on his boxes and trays. Also check the forged label that has been taped to the bottom of the table.

Copyright © 2010 – 2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

Most underwhelming attribution to Don S. Shoemaker – part 6

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Is this a joke or what? I received this picture on a deckchair listed for auction which you can tell immediately it is not part of the Don S. Shoemaker catalog.

  • An attributed Don S. Shoemaker “deckchair”. This particular chair is made in a tropical wood called “katalox”, sometimes also known as “Mexican Ebony”, a wood very estimated in the Yucatan Peninsula by the producers of outdoor furniture and flooring of that area. Very unfamiliar to a Don S. Shoemaker piece of furniture. Sometimes I do ask myself, how is it possible that these kind of furniture pieces make it to a serious auction house and they accept to list them as originals.
  • Is it the magical thought of believe that it could be a “Don S. Shoemaker”?
  • Are they too lazy to research?
  • They have a blind trust on the seller?
  • They do not have specialists?
  • Or they do not care?
  • I wonder what happens when you try to sell a brand new Chinese 2009 “WASSILY CHAIR” for an authentic Marcel Breuer WASSILY CLUB CHAIR “B3” Standard Möbel or Thonet Möbel 1928?

But I still have not found the answer….

Copyright © 2010-2017 Karin Goyer. All Rights Reserved

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.