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Posts Tagged ‘Furniture

University of Pennsylvania displays Benjamin Franklin’s mahogany desk

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The University of Pennsylvania is now haven to one of Benjamin Franklin’s most prized possessions—his mahogany writing desk—which played a valuable role in his work as a printer, according to

The desk is housed in the Reading Room of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, evoking images of the founding father examining political documents, checking account books or writing correspondences on the inset leather writing surface.

Franklin purchased the desk while in London from prominent London cabinetmaker John Mayhew in 1772. When he moved back to Philadelphia, Franklin brought the desk with him. Its large, flat surface suited his needs perfectly, allowing him to review large folios and providing space to store his copy press, art historian Page Talbott told the university.

Identical on both sides, the desk, also known as a “partner’s desk,” has drawer fronts with beaded edges, brass bail handles with button escutcheons, and brass-edged keyholes. After Franklin died in 1790, the desk was owned by several Philadelphia families and was displayed at Independence Hall from about 1856 to 1866. The family of The Reverend Edwin Town subsequently gave the desk to Roland Curtin, a Penn alum and Medical School professor, and Curtin’s family donated the desk to Penn in 1916.

The desk has undergone at least two significant renovations, the first in the 1850s, and the second in 2004 as part of the preparations for the Tercentenary. As part of the Tercentenary exhibit, the desk traveled all over, from St. Louis to Houston, Denver and Atlanta.


Written by cabinettrends

June 27, 2013 at 7:00 am

Scm Group to exhibit at International Contemporary Furniture Fair

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Scm Group recently presented the “I Wood Like – Handmade & digital crafting” event at Italy’s Milan Furniture Show, and has announced it will also be exhibiting at the upcoming International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York.

The “I Wood Like” event is a practical demonstration of how an idea for a chair, a table or an item of furniture becomes a finished product, and how this can provide an excellent opportunity for many young people in the future, all with the help of technology. The project involves SCM GROUP working alongside Federlegno Arredo (Italian federation of companies involved in the transformation of wood and its derivatives) and Culturalegno (a cultural association that promotes the culture of wood and traditional, handcrafted and artistic woodworking) to demonstrate the transformation processes available and underlying values and possibility that wood offers by experimenting with your own creativity and starting your own business.

During the ICFF event, May 18-21, Scm Group will demonstrate how to transform raw materials into finished products using handcrafted processes and high-performing technologies. Learn more at

Written by cabinettrends

May 10, 2013 at 7:00 am

NSF Sustainability to offer VOC emission testing for furniture industry

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NSF Sustainability, a division of global independent public health organization NSF International, partnered with emissions testing company Materials Analytical Services LLC to offer VOC emission testing for the commercial and institutional furniture industry. This new service aims to help companies save costs and time by providing all testing and validation services needed to complete BIFMA level certification for sustainable furniture.

BIFMA level certification includes requirements for low-VOC emissions and other sustainable criteria such as a product life cycle assessment, use of rapidly renewable or recycled materials, an operating environmental management system, reduction or elimination of chemical of concern and other human health, product and corporate sustainability criteria. Completing VOC emission testing and earning BIFMA level certification satisfies state and federal purchasing requirements for commercial furniture and may contribute points toward a building’s LEED certification.

For more information about NSF Sustainability’s programs for commercial furniture, please call 734.476.2543 or email

Written by cabinettrends

May 9, 2013 at 7:00 am

California furniture company eliminates flame retardants

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The Futon Shop, an organic futon retailer with four shops in California, has responded to the newly updated Prop 65 list and warning label law that came out this April 19th 2013, according to

California has a lot of laws in place that protect consumers from buying furniture with hazardous materials. Law TB117 protects consumers from fires and Prop 65 protects consumers from manufacturers hiding chemicals in their products.

The problem with TB117 is that the unregulated flame-retardants in upholstered furniture is now out of control. Prop 65 can attest to this because the list of up to 800 chemicals has increased with more flame-retardants added each year.

With growing concern about flame retardants in upholstered furniture, The Futon Shop’s response has been to provide three options to each consumer in regards to complying with California flame retardant laws: 1) consumers can choose to get a wool barrier, which is a natural fire retardant; 2) Borax is also an option. Borax is a natural salt, which can be sprinkled into the mattress; or 3) consumers can bypass flame-retardants completely and bring in a doctors note from ones doctor or chiropractor stating that the patient does not want added flame resistors. None of the three options above involve adding any of the prop 65 listed chemicals.

The Futon Shop says they do not use any chemicals in their organic futon mattresses, or any of their wooden sofa frames or platform beds. Their ingredients such as: latex, foam, memory foam, gel, fabric, wool or cotton do not have any flame retardants from the Prop 65 list.

Written by cabinettrends

May 1, 2013 at 7:00 am

Scm Group to exhibit at Milan Furniture Fair

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A “Vaulted Table” structure will be created with Scm’s Tech Z5 machining center.

Scm Group will exhibit the latest tools for woodworking and furniture manufacturing at the Milan Furniture Fair in Milan, Italy, April 9-14.

At the Fair, the company will present its “I Wood Like – Handmade & digital crafting” event, which is a practical demonstration of how an idea for a chair, a table or an item of furniture becomes a finished product, and how this technology can provide an opportunity for many young people in the future.

Scm Group will work alongside FederlegnoArredo (the Italian federation of companies involved in the transformation of wood and its derivatives) and Culturalegno (a cultural association that promotes the culture of wood and traditional, handcrafted and artistic woodworking) to demonstrate the many transformation processes available as well as the underlying values and the possibilities that wood offers.

The Tech Z5 Scm machining center will also be demonstrated to create a “Vaulted Table” sculpture.

Written by cabinettrends

April 5, 2013 at 7:00 am

Northern Indiana Woodcrafters Association EXPO displays furniture for dealers

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Quality furniture was on display this month during the 14th Annual Northern Indiana Woodcrafters Association EXPO at the Michiana Event Center, according to Goshen news online.

Every year, since 1999, the members organization of wood crafters has brought their products together for a dealer trade show. They have nearly 200 active members from four northern Indiana counties.

“This is not an Amish furniture show,” said one of the founding members, Daniel Lehman. “First of all we do not agree with marketing our products through our religion.” He explained to Goshen news that even though all of the members are Amish, all the members are also wood craftsmen or produce an affiliated product; that is where the similarity ends. Lehman said they never use their religion as a marketing tool. “You can say, in all honesty, that we are the largest 100 percent, USA handcrafted furniture maker’s organization,” Lehman said.

A prominent feature in many of the floor displays was computer/office built-ins and entertainment centers. Since the majority of the designs are custom order, the builders go with the popular flow to accommodate their wholesale buyer’s needs. But the number one featured product is the bedroom suite. Many of the craftsmen say it is because the women do the furniture shopping and when it comes to buying new furniture and investing top dollar they start with a custom bedroom.

For information about the group go to

Written by cabinettrends

March 25, 2013 at 7:00 am

Annual Southern Decorative furniture seminar Mar. 8-9

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The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) at Old Salem Museums & Gardens will present its annual furniture seminar March 8–9, according to .

Since 1993, MESDA’s furniture seminar has provided a forum at which the collector, curator, woodworker and conservator come together to explore the subject of antique furniture through a variety of topics. This year’s seminar is “The Sumptuous, Serviceable Sideboard: Evolution in Design, Regional Style and Construction.”

Here’s what to expect:

A workshop demonstration: “Ornamentation and Construction Techniques: A Virginia Sideboard and Beyond,” given by Stephen Latta, professor, cabinet and wood technology, Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, Lancaster, Penn.

The Frank L. Horton Lecture: “Hospitality in Wood: Sideboards and Servers in the Lower Southern Piedmont,” given by Dale L. Couch, the Frank L. Horton lecturer, curator of decorative arts, the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Ga.

The Sumptuous, Serviceable, Southern Sideboard: An Introduction to Evolution in Design and Construction,” given by Robert A. Leath, chief curator, vice president for collections and research, Old Salem Museums & Gardens.

“Discovery and Rediscovery: Considering the Kentucky Sideboard,” given by Scott Erbes, curator of decorative art and design, The Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Ky.; Marianne Ramsey, ASID, professor emeritus of interior design, Eastern Kentucky University and Clifton Anderson Art & Antiques, Lexington, Ky.

“Into the Dining Room: The Evolution of the Safe in the Valley of Virginia,” given by Jeffrey S. Evans, president, principal auctioneer and specialist, Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates, Mount Crawford, Va.

A reception and dinner will be held Friday night, hosted by Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales, Ltd of Hillsborough, N.C. Registration costs are $295, and $245 for Friends of MESDA or Old Salem, and includes all sessions and materials, Friday dinner, Saturday lunch and admission to Old Salem and MESDA. Registration is limited. To register or for information, 336-721-7360 or email


Written by cabinettrends

February 18, 2013 at 7:00 am

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