Feast your eyes on the most recent, and oh so sweet find from the Oh My Mod house! It's OK, you can blink a couple times and rub your eyes if necessary. But let us assure you, there is nothing wrong with your computer screen. Do not attempt to adjust the picture, because we are controlling this transmission and it is most definitely filled with fantastic mid century modern dining chairs. Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates (1613-C) to be exact!
OK, enough with the corny "Outer Limits" bit and back to business. This is serious stuff, right!? You betcha it is! In fact it got real serious a few hours after I stumbled upon this lovely and sought after dining set. Why is that you ask? Well, that's because after I found them I decided not to buy them.
Did I just hear a collective "WTF are you thinking?" echoing through the sky from all of the MODerators and retrophiles reading across the world? Probably so, because I know that would have been my response had I just read that someone stumbled onto a set of Pearsall dining chairs at a great price and didn't snatch them up right away. Seriously, I do not know what I was thinking. Actually, yes, I do. Allow me to elaborate and redeem myself before you decide to stone me for idiocy.
This past weekend K and I made a trip to Oklahoma City to meet up with some family for my not-so-little niece's birthday. (The kid is growing up quick!) Given that we were just going for a one night stay, we decided to take my car which is two doors, less traveled, and not exactly suitable for picking anything larger than what can sit on a table or shelf. It's a far cry from what you would expect a retro junky like me to be driving given the amount of stuff I haul home, but that's a different story for a different time.
Anyway, because we were in my car the chances of me doing any hunting over the weekend were slim to nil. But c'mon, who are we kidding? I ALWAYS hunt regardless of the circumstances! I could be peddling a unicycle down the road with little more than a backpack for storage available and my eyes would still be darting side to side for a glimpse of vintage treasure. And in the event that I spotted something while atop this unicycle, you can guarantee I'd find a way to drag it home while still thinking of ways to fill the space of my yet-to-be-filled backpack. I'm a "No man left behind" kind of guy when an item is available and the price is right. And the price was definitely right in this case.
So during the trip to see my niece, we had to stop to run a few errands. Once those were complete we decided to grab a quick lunch. Lucky for me, there were a few thrift stores just around the corner so we decided to stop in for a quick peek. The first shop was pretty bare, but I had a good time perusing someplace other than my normal haunts in Tulsa. After I made the rounds inside store number one I was off to the second store which was just a short distance away. K decided she would stay in the car since it was blazing hot, so I headed inside and gave it a quick once over convinced that this place would be just as bare as the first. I located the area for furniture and circled around quickly without even noticing the set of six chairs sitting in the middle of the room. I was just about to turn around and leave when I decided I'd give the area one more real look and it was a good thing I did. This time I actually noticed what was staring me in the face. A very distinct set of chairs with an upholstery pattern that was probably the reason I glanced over them the first time (I'm not a huge fan of the color scheme and stripes.) I went back to the chairs and gave them a quick look to see if I could find any markings or labels. Unfortunately for me they had been reupholstered by the previous owner. While the fabric was in great shape, clean, and snugly attached, all of the labels underneath seemed to have been removed during the change. Pity. Still, I knew I had seen these chairs before, but I couldn't quite put things together just yet.
I snapped a quick photo on my iPhone and messaged it to K who was sitting patiently outside. She came inside assuming that this message was my attempt to get her blessing to buy the chairs and find a way to secure them to the roof, hood, or any other part of the car capable of supporting the chairs on until we made the trek home. However, that wasn't my intent at all. Other than the space constraints, the problem was that I've got a number of unfinished projects at home. While K generally loves the things I pick up as much as me, she absolutely does not love the space that they take up. So, after a quick discussion about the chairs and debating whether or not the half-off sign we saw coming in made this a must-have-purchase, I decided to leave the set behind and hope that I hadn't made a huge mistake.
I almost did.
On the way to my brother and sister-in-law's house, the chairs kept creeping into my mind. I knew I had seen that distinct base before and I was annoyed that the maker of the chairs wasn't painfully obvious to me yet. I even joked after leaving the shop that I had probably just passed on a Pearsall dining set, but I couldn't confirm my suspicion because I have a crappy, old iPhone that is horribly slow and never seems to work when I need it most. So, after we arrived at my brother's house, played with the kids, and had some dinner, I hopped on the internet and started looking for the dining set. Naturally, I started by searching "mid-century modern dining set" and went on from there. After a while, I decided that I would go ahead and search my initial gut feeling and typed in "Adrian Pearsall dining set". Bingo.
There in front of me was the dining set I had just left hours before. I felt absolutely sick! I quickly referenced the online Pearsall catalog and sure enough, there they were. Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates: 1613-C Dining Chairs. The only difference being that the previous owner of our set must have decided to throw a couple extra buttons on each chair rather than going with the original two button setup. (To each their own, but I much prefer sticking to the original!) From that point forward I started plotting what I could do to get the chairs. We were heading back home the next day and the shop was closed on Sundays. Something had to be done. It was late at the time though so I headed to bed and made a few calls the next day to family members in the area in hopes of convincing them to right my mistake of passing on the chairs.
Lucky for me, I have an awesome mother-in-law who happens to have a large van. She agreed to head to the shop first thing Monday morning to see if the chairs were still available and if so, to try and negotiate the price back to 50% off. On Monday morning she called me to let me know how things went and I was elated to find out that the chairs were still there and that she was successful in getting the discounted price. Talk about luck!
So that brings you to present day where we now have yet another set of mid-century modern dining chairs (more on that to come) occupying space in our house. These really don't need much cleaning overall. The wood is in pretty good shape and looks great once hit with a bit of Howard's Restor-A-Finish. (Just look how rich and beautiful that base is!)
While I love the structure of these chairs and Pearsall pieces in general, we already have a pretty awesome MCM dining set, even if it isn't worth quite as much as this one. We also have some big plans scheduled for this year, so we decided it would be better to sell the chairs to someone who will love and cherish them while we are able to put a little money back for our upcoming travels. Win win for everyone!