11.22.2011

Fresh Find: Basic-Witz High Boy

So it's been a bit of a highboy heavy month here at Oh My Mod. After finding and rejuvenating a Danish inspired chest of drawers, we came across a great deal on yet another highboy that was in pristine condition. I'm never one to shy away from a great deal so I loaded this one up too.

We absolutely love the style of this piece and were instantly drawn to it after seeing the rich wood tones and quality craftsmanship. Not to mention that its condition was so good that it hardly needed cleaned up. We gave it a good rub down and wax for extra protection but little else was needed.

After examining the inside of the top drawers, it was revealed that this piece was produced by the Basic-Witz Furniture Company. We aren't familiar with the Basic-Witz brand so we are currently looking into finding out more info on the history of the company. Any of you MODerators out there have any info on Basic-Witz?

Stamp found on the inside of one of the top drawers.

5 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, growing up in Staunton VA, My Dad worked at Basic Witz making the darker insert diamond shape. Recently passed :-(, I have tall boy, dresser, mirror and night stand. All in superior condition.

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  2. Hi. Beautiful dresser. I have the same dresser minus the legs. Don't know what happened to them but when I bought it, it had no legs. I want to restore it and add the legs. Can you tell me if the legs screw on or are part of the bottom base? What size the legs are, length and width? I appreciate your help. Thanks in advance.
    Jackie
    groovejedi75@yahoo.com

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  3. A Brief History of Basic Witz Furniture Industries:

    Basic Witz Furniture Industries Inc. was founded in Waynesboro in 1889 by Issac Witz. He continued to head and operate the plant until his death. His son, Julias Witz, took over management of Basic Witz and built a second plant in Staunton, Virginia.

    The company manufactured a pop¬ular line of modern and bedroom and dining room furniture, desks and secretaries. Boyd Stombock, the president and treasurer, was associated with the company since 1908. Paul Hays, vice president and sales manager, was with the company from 1923 until his death. Charles A. Holt, secretary, came into the or¬ganization in 1936 and was also with the corporation for many years.

    With the death of Mr. Julias Witz his widow was the major stock holder in the corporation. Upon the death of the President of the corporation, Boyd Stombock, Mrs. Irene Witz convinced her son in law, Edward (Munny) M. Bonfoey, to come to Staunton from Quincy, Illinois and accept the Presidency of Basic Witz.

    Under the leadership of Mr. Bonfoey, and a progressive Board of Directors, Basic Witz Furniture Industries was to become a very profitable corporation after some years of having difficult financial times. Mr. Bonfoey brought into the corporation a new group of sales personnel and focused on commercial sales of the furniture to motels and hotels as well as large retail furniture outlets. Their two manufacturing plants, located in Waynesboro and Staunton were among some of the most modern furniture factories with assembly line construction being designed by MIT graduate Jack Holt. Under the leadership of Edward M. Bonfoey, President of the Corporation, Basic Witz continued to remain a profitable furniture manufacturing operation. Mr. Bonfoey retired as President of the corporation, but remained as Chairman of the Board of Directors until the company was sold to Mohasco Corporation in the late 60’s.

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  4. Does anyone know if Kipp Stewart ever designed furniture for Basic Witz? I have a pair of night-stands with the diamond insert stamped "Basic Witz" Waynesboro, VA. A person in the MCM furniture biz told me they were designed by Kipp Stewart but I'm yet to find any of his pieces that match. Thanks!

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  5. I have Basic Witz cabinet stamped. 1889 is this something I should hang onto? Is it a collectible?

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