Rare Victorian - Sometimes You Need To Imagine The End Result
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Sometimes You Need To Imagine The End Result

karpen parlor set griffin Sometimes You Need To Imagine The End Result

karpen parlor set griffin Sometimes You Need To Imagine The End Result

I love it when labels are still intact on antique furniture and in this case, thanks to the Flomaton sale, Rare Victorian readers can now firmly identify this parlor set as being by Karpen Brothers Furniture when they encounter it in the future. Other sets like this have been attributed to R.J. Horner countless times.

Everyone, pause for a moment and say this with me 3 times: “Griffins aren’t always Horner”. “Griffins aren’t always Horner”. “Griffins aren’t always Horner”. I said it 2 more times for my own good measure.

This 3-piece set is getting a bit of a facelift as we approach the Flomaton sale and is without it’s final upholstery (they may leave that to you, not sure), but if you use your imagination, you’ll realize that it could look like the set below when it is finished. This particular parlor set below (attributed as R.J. Horner when it was selling) was up for sale from another seller last June and I think it was bid nearly as high as $10,000 but didn’t sell. I don’t have the exact figures, but that is what I recall.

6861 3 785550 Sometimes You Need To Imagine The End Result

This design is certainly one of my favorites by Karpen. I’m glad to now know with certainty that it is theirs. You can see more details at the listing.

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6 Comments
  • Emeriol - April 24, 2008

    Now why couldn’t Hunzinger have put any griffins on his rockers? What a miser…

  • Flomaton - April 25, 2008

    This set is to be sold so you can use “your ” imagination to upholster. fyi…it is not the set that was discussed as being offered at 10k. This set at Flomaton was part of original furnishings from a large southern Alabama turn of the century home and will be sold.

    I appreciate this website and the message boards that open up discussion on items from 1850-1900.

  • admin - April 25, 2008

    Thanks Flomaton. Yes the 10k set was being sold by a private owner las year.

  • woodwright - April 25, 2008

    Nicely stylized griffins with great details. Very nice design that incorperates the wings flowing very smoothly into the arms of the sofa and chairs. I like it a lot. I see pictured on the listing by Flomaton the original Karpen tag is still present – apparently all Karpen furniture had a tag tacked on when made (info from S. Karpen’s Grandaughter Q & A about Karpen Furniture @ http://www.skarpenfurniture.com/pages/events ). This set has been recently refinished, or at least gone over. It has a redder finish/ color than the set upholstered in the yellow Damask at the bottom, which really looks sharp and shows the set’s potential once reupholstered. Yellow is not a color I would personally choose for upholsery in most cases, but it looks sharp on this set. Does anyone know of software, or a technique to mock up upholstered furniture with different fabrics (from a picture or scan of a fabric) to show how it would look covered in different choices? The right or wrong fabric can make such a dramatic difference in the final appearance, but it is not always easy to imagine/ visualize before seeing it done. woodwright

  • RareVictorian - April 27, 2008

    woowright, yellow is not a color for me, but I agree that on this set it works very well. Reminds me of the Hot Rods from the 20s and 30s that get painted banana yellow and somehow pull it off.

    I use a software product originally provided by Benjamin Moore to mock up my rooms in my house for final paint selection. Some of my cornice mouldings have 3 different colors in addition to the wall color and I wanted to be sure it worked before the expense and work was initiated.

    You might be able to find a similar tool on one of the major paint manufacturers websites. The one that Benjamine Moore provided was downloadable. They now have “Personal Color Viewer” on their site – same functionality, just utilized from their site directly.

    Maybe you can mock up a piece of furniture to get a feel for colors. Although patterns that you would find for upholstery won’t be available to test drive, the overall color scheme could.

  • woodwright - April 28, 2008

    Thanks for the reply and info RareV. I went Ben Moores’s website and played with the Personal Color Viewer a little – pretty cool tool. [I’ve got a neighbor getting ready to paint his Queen Anne/ Victorian (our last house before the one we’re in now) and trying to decide on colors – I’ll have to tell him about it]. I only used the template pictures on their site – but I saw that you could purchase (for $10.00) a CD/ downloadable version that looks like it will somehow work with your own digital photos. Have you tried the version with your own pics? If so, do you think this would work on pictures of furniture for upholstery colors at least like you mentioned above? I haven’t purchased/ tried the version yet for your own pictures. I’ll have to ask my local BM dealer about it. A plug for Ben Moore – they make a great paint, I think one of the best on the market (proven by consumer reports testing). I wonder if there is another/ better tool available for fabrics & patterns? In today’s age of technology/ graphic design – I’d bet there probably is – just a matter of finding it and figuring out how it works. I saw on the Flomaton listing they somehow showed the sofa w/ the right half only – shown upholstered w/ a button & tuck back in a green upholstery. Wonder how it was done? woodwright

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