HARVEY PROBBER “NUCLEAR" COFFEE TABLE, MODEL NO. 201
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Directory: Vintage Arts: Furnishings: Furniture: American: Pre 1950: item # 1209801
Please refer to our stock # 000876 when inquiring.
136 Grant Avenue
Santa Fe, NM 87501
|Offered is a fully restored mahogany Nuclear coffee table model # 201 designed and manufactured by Harvey Probber in 1949. This modular table a creation before its time can be arranged and used in a multitude of ways and configurations to suit your needs or aesthetic taste. Each section measures 14 inches high by 23 7/8 to create a table measuring 47 7/8 in diameter when the sections are combined. LITERATURE AND REFERENCES William H. Hennessey, Modern Furnishings for the Home, New York, 1952, reprinted, New York, 1997, p. 99 CATALOGUE NOTE During his four-decade career, Harvey Probber produced hundreds of designs for upholstery, case goods, dining room and bedroom storage for Harvey Probber, Inc., the company he founded in 1945 and sold in 1986. His furniture was widely admired for its sleek forms, finely-crafted details and luxurious finishes. But some of Probber’s most original contributions were more conceptual than aesthetic, derived from his explorations into furniture that could take multiple forms – an idea that intrigued him throughout his career. Shortly after establishing his firm, Probber developed a series of collections based on the concept of modularity. His first collection, the Sert Group, was a series of geometric upholstered forms that he called "modules," half-circles, quadrants or wedges that could be purchased individually and arranged into myriad configurations for seating. Probber referred to it as a "modular system," a term not then in general use. Shortly afterwards, he applied the same principle to tables, with modular sections in several shapes that could be interspersed with the seating units, or used as side, occasional, or coffee tables. The July, 1948 Probber price list included Nuclear Tables with six options: wedge or rectangular, solid core, plain or planter core, and lamp table, available in several mahogany finishes or colored lacquer. The coffee-table shown here was assembled from two wedges and a metal planter core. Probber improvised further variations on the theme, with a raised center core as dining table, surrounded by cushion-topped wedges for benches. The New York Times lauded Probber’s "Nuclear Group," when the modulars were shown at W&J Sloane in September, 1949, and the newspaper headlined the designer’s "Odd Shapes in Latest Tables" the following month in the National Home Furnishings Show at Grand Center Palace in New York. Though Harvey Probber’s designs were generally elegant, few were as carefully thought out as this assertively understated piece, and the collection from which it was drawn. It reflects the substance of a designer whose reputation rests primarily on style. JUDITH GURA|