Don S. Shoemaker furniture designs, Mexico Mid-century modern and other furniture designers
Mexico Modernism Furniture Design – Frank B. Kyle, Muller´s Onix, La Malinche

Mexico Modernism Furniture Design – Frank B. Kyle, Muller´s Onix, La Malinche


6) Furniture manufactured by particular designers and Mexican furniture companies that have left us a legacy and should not be forgotten for their enriching contribution to Mexico’s Modernism Furniture Design History, like the Frank Kyle Gallery. Frank B. Kyle was an American sculptor and furniture designer from Minneapolis, though he mainly lived in California. Kyle moved to Mexico City in the early 1950#8217;s and opened his gallery where he exhibited his furniture pieces and sculptures. Kyle´s furniture designs included elegant dining sets, chairs, tables, lamps and screens. One of his trademarks was the exceptional lacquer finish that he provided to some of his furniture lines… Below see some of Kyle de México most iconic furniture designs:

Pair of Kumoto Armchairs designed by Frank B. Kyle

The Muller#8217;s Onix store, which was famous back in the 1960’s until the 1980’s for selling beautiful onyx decorative items and furniture, including small and large chess sets, sculptures, platters, bowls, plates and tables in different sizes. The store was located in Mexico City and owned by American Guy Muller, who was also known as “Mr. Onyx”. His beautifully handcrafted Onyx Tables are unique; you may still find them sometimes at Mexico City’s flea markets. A significant number of Muller´s tables and sculptures were sold to the US and Canada. Lately I have seen many Muller´s Onix coffee and side tables erroneously attributed to Arturo Pani.

Founded in 1909 in the northern city of Monterrey, Nuevo León, the Compañía Manufacturera de Muebles La Malinche, S.A. was one of the pioneering furniture manufacturers in Mexico. “La Malinche” specialized in the production of rocking chairs and chairs in all kinds of woods (pine, mahogany, elm, cedar and beech). Their chairs were used almost at every Monterrey household and public spaces like schools, restaurants, hotels, canteens, etc. The company also produced complete living room sets, all sorts of cabinets, coffee tables, bedroom sets, dining rooms, etc. and was well-known for its good quality and high manufacturing standards. Unfortunately, the factory closed its doors in the early 1970’s. Their furniture designs are very popular among collectors all over Mexico.

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  1. I purchased a beautiful aztec marble coffee table with a patent number 89751. The label reads Muller#8217;s Hecho en Mexico. I am trying to track down the artist and the year it was made.
    If you happen to have any information or questions about the table, I found in a second hand store please contact me.
    Thank you,
    Angela Lara

    1. I have an Aztec table that measures 120cm X 240cm. I also believe it is marble, and it also reads patent #89751.
      I also need information on artist or appraisal.
      Carmen salinas
      Teamsalinas956 at

  2. I have a muller#8217;s onyx dinning table that sits six to eight. And is the red and white onyx like the pedestal on your site. I have been trying to get an estimated value for this table, it#8217;s only flaw is the base pedestal has some small chips. However there is VERY little information on Muller#8217;s onyx tables and what few I can find non are nearly the size and scope of the dinning table I have. If you could help me I would be very thankful.

    Kimberly Hager
  3. Alfred G. Muller founded Muller#8217;s Onyx in the 1960#8217;s. He owned a mine, factory and retail store. He got the idea for making tables one day as he was showering and heard the workers working on marble and onyx at a construction site. He is the one who first started making the onyx/marble chess sets in Mexico. He made many tables with brass legs, wooden legs. He made solid slab stone tops and also began to experiment with piecing broken bits of slab stone into bigger surfaces. I believe this is where his patent came in. The particular numbers maybe #8220;numbers.#8221; I can check into it. He made Aztec tables with carved, hollow bases. Eventually, he had his workers make very modern designs that could be cylinder, rectangular, conical, hourglass, etc. shapes with a hollow interiors. Many times, he would display these with an interior light that would give a beautiful, glowing effect. He also had a family of sculptors, who signed their work as #8220;Guti.#8221; They did many abstract modern pieces in black marble, or Mayas in onyx. It is my understanding that one of these pieces was presented, made or bought for someone in the Dutch royal family. Neiman Marcus once approached him about buying his merchandise, but he declined. He exported his merchandise all over the world to customers who had walked into his store usually as tourists or businessmen at the corner of Florencia and Londres in the Pink Zone of Mexico City. He also sold columns, bathroom vanities, and jewelry. I have seen his merchandise in people#8217;s homes and in movies. Many people tried to copy him but never achieved his quality.

    Mr. Muller was a most remarkable man with much integrity. He refused to go into bribing or mistreat or underpay his workers. He was a philosopher who began studying philosophy at the age of 11 after discovering his joy for reading a Dr. Doolittle#8217;s book. On Fridays, he stopped the factory early for any workers who wanted to listen to his philosophy. In time, college professors heard about him and came to his lectures. He believed we are all connected, past, present and future.
    He saw no need or use of ego. I suppose you could say his way of thinking was similar to philosopher and author, Eckhart Tolle, who wrote #8220;The Power of Now.#8221; He was born in Nicaragua of a German father and Italian mother. After his father died, his mother remarried. He joined her in California and graduated from Hollywood High School around the mid 1930#8217;s. He later married a beautiful Mexican lady who almost became a Hollywood star.

    If your table needs repair, I may be able to help.

    1. Hello Laurie, My Uncle was Alfred Guy Muller. I found this article while trying to find out more about my family history. My father was Armand F Muller and Alfred was one of his brother#8217;s. I am 57 years old now and all I can remember is my father telling me about is brother Alfred that owned Muller#8217;s Onyx in Mexico city and that he had another brother named Otto and that our original family name was Von Muller and that the came from Managua Nicaragua and that their mom had moved to California and that#8217;s about all I can remember so I am trying to piece the rest together.
      Guy Muller
      Greentown, PA

      Guy Muller
    2. I have a Muller onyx dining table. It is a 51#8243; round table top with a wrought iron center base. The 4 #8221; rim onyx pieces are brown, the center color of onyx pieces is light, and there is a thin brass line between the two colors. There is a small chip on the edge.
      I am in central Texas, and I want to get the chip repaired. I want the repair to be done by someone who knows how treasured the table is#8211;any suggestions?

      Susan Hackleman

      Susan Hackleman
  4. I believe I have an original Muller#8217;s Onxy table. Its the same style as the photo of the red and cream onyx table with brass inlay. Mine has a larger base and solid cream onyx. There#8217;s are tag underneath the table top Muller#8217;s onyx Hecho en Mexico. I would like to find out more about this piece? I can send photos as needed.



  5. Mullers dining table and coffee table. Our family recently received 2 beautiful pieces of Mullers tables. It would be wonderful if there was a way to learn more about their origin.

    William Adams

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