Saturday, 25 August 2007

Monteverdi-Young

I have recently discovered, and fallen in love with, the work of a mid-century design firm from L.A. – Monteverdi-Young. I’ve never really been much of a fan of mid-century, I could never understand all the hooplah about it, much preferring design from a decade or two earlier. But the work of some American designers is making me understand why there are so many fans of that era. I didn’t like the Jetson’s- like futuristic looking style of some mid-century, and I still don’t really, but I’m realising that there were designers who still worked with classical lines, but in a more modern and refined way. 1st Dibs.com has been a great source of information for me, especially about less written about designers or firms, and I have learned a lot since I’ve started perusing their weekly updates. Monteverdi-Young is one of the firms I’ve discovered this way. I have not been able to find out much about them (so if anyone reading this has any please pass it on!), except that they were conducting business under another name until the 1950’s, they were quite a well respected producer of furniture, and they were Italian modernists – well, the Monteverdi part of the partnership was at least! I see some details that are reminiscent of Andre Arbus (see the legs on the red sofa and the mahogany buffet), but also a modernism that is quite unique. I’m noticing more and more of their work on 1st Dibs and other antique sites, and they are still quite reasonably priced. I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that perhaps those prices won’t last for long. Considering the prices ‘designer’ modern furniture can fetch these days, it’s only a matter of time that lesser known designer goods will be the next big thing. My favourites of this design house so far are:



This chair was designed for Monteverdi-Young by Maurice Bailey in the 50’s. Its very modern, but it’s uniqueness is what is so appealing to me. The ebonized wood legs with brass sabots are classic, and I love the faux-croc leather.




A mahogany coffee table from the 60’s is very mid-century modern, but very versatile. I especially love those highly polished brass legs.




Mahogany buffet from the 60’s (love those legs!), with leather-inlay handles. Stunning!



Button-tufted settee covered in mohair from the 50’s. Again, love those legs. Very sexy, and I think this could work is a lot of different interiors too.


Another sofa that I love, it has great lines, and I love that wooden base.


All images from 1st Dibs.com

4 comments:

patriciagrayinc.com said...

I am like you and Mid Century modern is starting to grow on me. A request from my current clients to have some of this genre of furniture in their house has produced some wonderful teak dining chairs. Now I am looking at this era with a different eye.

Suzy said...

Hi Patricia - happy to hear its not just me!

Anonymous said...

Hello,
I'm the granddaughter of partner Roger B. Young of Monteverdi-Young. I have a lot of the old show room catalogues of this company. I could probably help you with the information that you would like to know. Please contact me at votawlm@mindspring.com

Anonymous said...

We have a Monteverdi Young Desk & Credenza set from the "Signature Line". The desk is 9'x46", the credenza is 7'X18"(with tambour center front & a place that pulls out for the phone) Black leather inset handles.
I would like to know the value of this set. We have had it for over 25 years.