Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Barstools At Kevins Crib Reminded Me That I Have A Pair Of Beat Up Umanoff Barstools Out In The Garage! Status: Rediscovered.


These you say? Rough.  They've been rode hard and put away wet.  Maybe Rustic is a more attractive term.  Shabby Mod?  Has that term been coined?  Anybody who knows me or has been reading this blog knows I have a weakness for rod iron and wood furniture like this.


The first time I spotted a set of stools like these was in New Orleans at a shop called Neophobia

(that by the way looks like it is going to be closing down and reopening as a different shop but

with the same type of stock). They had a pair of them in the shop but they were misidentified as

Paul McCobb. I went home believing that which led me to researching and finding a love for

McCobb designs but ultimately realizing that the barstools were mislabeled. I eventually found

the design to be attributed to Arthur Umanoff, who's designs I am also enamored with! So

besides learning a little bit about two designers I also learned that you can't blindly trust what you

see or read when you are buying (or even as in my case at the time...just admiring) these vintage

modern gems we are all so fascinated by.


These two examples of Umanoff were found at the Wentzville flea market early last year...or

maybe the year before, I forget. While I knew they had an intrinsic value as both barstools and

Arthur Umanoff designs, the truth is they aren't the best examples of either. I have pretty high

standards though. These need just a little help to be good and solid barstools. Some of the

welds around the footrests are broken. Some of those have been "repaired" by drilling holes

and running screws through them. I know there's not a welder on every corner but surely one

can be found. Maybe I'll make that a priority. The funny thing some point a previous

owner realized the swivel mechanism was shot and just had the parts welded together. Maybe

these were two different owners with two different ideas of a proper fix. Neither, of course,

was a proper fix as is not the coat of shellac or whatever that was slathered across the seat and

backrest. It doesn't look bad but it certainly isn't close to original. My intent was to fix all of

this properly...or at least sort it out as best I can. But as with many of my intended projects...

I might get around to it...someday. We'll see.


  1. This looks like it could be a fun restore project. I'm seriously considering welding courses at the tech school close to home for just this reason. How are the backs constructed? In the pics it looks like some kind of wrapped material? The seats look easy enough though..

  2. A Mod - The backs are a twine like material wrapped tightly around the metal frame. It's not supposed to be sealed like these. It should look more natural.

  3. Are you selling these? I know a dealer here who is looking for a pair of these.

    Joe Eggleston