Sunday, April 22, 2012

So, Mr. Modtomic Took The Weekend Off From Estate Sales....And STILL Scored Some Paul McCobb! Status: 4 Hours Of Anxiety!


Yup, if you're local you mighta seen this pop up on StL. craigslist Saturday morning. After a quick check of my e-mail, the first thing I do in the morning is peruse the latest ads on c-list. When I spotted this I had to rub my blurry eyes a couple of times 'cuz the pic in the ad was kinda fuzzy...and surely I wasn't seeing that asking price correctly!


Of course, I don't really discuss how much I pay for anything here, but this was listed really....

really cheap. As soon as I spotted the ad I was like 90% sure that it was Paul McCobb and shot

the seller an e-mail with an over offer. I included a phone number but because of the ridiculously

low asking price I figured there was little chance of getting a reply.


As you have probably guessed, I did get that call! Holy crap! I was ready to jump in the car and

head over to pick this up but the seller said that they wouldn't be home to meet me until later that

afternoon. I was gracious about the wait but I was gritting my teeth knowing that they'd probably

get a ton more e-mails about the table / cabinet. I thought for sure this was going to end up like

the Jere Birds sculpture debacle from a few months ago.


After making arrangements with the seller I had to wait four excruciating hours for them to make

their way home from a previous obligation. That was a looooonnngg four hours. As a matter of

fact a reader e-mailed me in the interim to ask if I was first in line for the piece. "Crap", I though.

It has begun. The seller is gonna get a bunch of e-mails and I'm gonna loose out. As a matter of

fact the reader even offered the seller more than I did...with the caveat that the piece had to be



Lucky (?) for me then it's not marked or tagged. After 3pm (when the seller said they'd call me)

I had resigned myself and the entire endeavor to "fail" status. I was certain that someone else had

offered WAY more and snatched it up. But then I got the call I was waiting for! I got the address

and tooled on over only to arrive at the same time as another buyer.


No, not another buyer for the McCobb, but for a set of pretty cool retro living room tables. The

weird thing is that I had met the other buyer before! He was the fella who sold me the Brutalist

Clock a few months ago
! Weird coincidence...but that wasn't the Only coincidence.


On the way home I stopped at a Goodwill near the seller and found...yup, you guessed it,

ANOTHER piece by Paul McCobb! This little covered dish was just waiting for me there. And

this was at what I consider a more suburban Goodwill. Not where you'd expect to find vintage

modern swag. Yet here was a piece of Paul McCobb Contempri by Jackson Internationale. My

first case good by McCobb and my first piece of dishware by McCobb all in the span of 20

minutes!  Cool.  Estate sales, Schmestate sales....I got to sleep in!


  1. How lucky are you! I have the same McCobb case but with perforated doors sitting on one of his 4-foot black benches. I bought the pieces some 9 yrs. ago.

    1. Hi Anony. I consider myself pretty darn lucky! I bet the natural finish looks great with the black bench.

  2. Unlucky for me, I didn't sleep in. :( I checked out the Great Estate sale in Ladue, and the UCity packed sale.

    AND the sale in Edwardsville that had an Eames Chair, and a Noguchi table (which I knew would be gone).


    1. Hi Rachel. Oh, it was soooo hard to ignore that Edwardsville sale. Sometimes you gotta know when to say "when". StL....feast or famine. We seem to be in a feast cycle!

  3. Glad it worked out for you Mr. M. Had I seen the bottom of the table or known that it was modular, I wouldn't have needed the tag! Keeper?

    1. Hi Anony. Yeah, that blurry pic wasn't much help was it? Not to mention that the seller had the cabinet placed on the table in such a way that looked like it might have been a home made project in the photo. Because of the legs, the very small detail that I could just make out of the way they mounted to the table, and the doors...I was pretty confident that it was McCobb.

  4. Wow great score! I saw that when it was listed but had no idea it was something so special. Glad you got it!

    Rachel, I was number 2 in line for the edwardsville sale on Friday. The guy in front of me was there for the Noguchi table but didn't buy it because he said it wasn't authentic. I was there for the Eames chair but the $2900 asking price was a bit of a stretch for my tight wallet. Both of those peices are now at MoModerne I think.

    1. I just wanted to see the Eames chair, I don't even like the white leather ones, but I've never seen a legit one in person. :(

      Did you see the le corbusier petite grand confort chair in the living room? We were the last ones there on Saturday pretty much and the lady let me use the restroom and let me sit in the chair. haha.

      We bought the hugeeee desk that was up against the wall in the workshop, and got a bunch of the 1960s editions of the penguin and signet books which look pretty cool.

    2. Hi Nick. Holy crap...$2900? Glad my instincts paid off again! How much was the Noguchi Tribeca table? The tag in the pic looked like it said $250. I'm gonna have to drop by Momoderne to have a look see at those items.

    3. Hi Rachel. The sellers didn't even picture a Le Corbusier? I guess they must have caught wind of the Getty Images lawsuit!

    4. Mr. Modtomic, it wasn't for sale! The son of the man who passed away was moving into the house, and he chose to keep a few pieces of furniture including that chair and two fairly nice leather couches.

      There is a le corbusier living room set knockoff on CL right now for $200 OBO, it needs a little love, but I think even the knockoffs sell.

      The guy that lived there was a woodworker, and he had some pretty awesome stuff. Including a really gorgeous danish shelving unit with tension poles that wasn't for sale either. It was very similar to this :

    5. Rachel, that desk was great! Did you get the orange desk chair that was with it? I almost bougth it but I didn't need it so I passed. Yes I saw the chair in the living room, It was awesome! The shelving unit was AMAZING too! I was going to ask about it but I heard another guy ask if it was for sale and the lady said no.

      Mr. Mod, I think the Noguchi was 1,250.00. The guy in front of me got there really early to get it, after about 30 minutes of looking it over he didn't think it was a real one so he passed. He said he couldn't find the signature etched on the edge.

      I was kind of disappointed in the business practices of the HFT sale. The one guy got there WAY before me and I was number 2 in line, when she handed out numbers she gave him #3 and me #4. Everyone in line made a fuss about it, I don't know if her #1 and 2 didn't show up or she called them and told them not to come but they weren't there. Sorry for the rant, but I don't understand why it's so hard to just hand out numbers when you say you are and if you want to give your friends a sneak peak, let them look before the sale and before you post the pics on the sale ad.

  5. I am dying for that cabinet. DYING. Wow. What a score.
    On a side note, can anyone help me figure out the function of this little bauble lol? I can't figure it out for the life of me...

    1. Hi Anony. Huh, what IS that thing for?!?! That's really neat looking but my only idea is a scarf hanger or maybe put gloves over the balls to ensure they air out. Neat looking though!

    2. lol i thought if anyone would know, it would be you and your readers!! I'm sure someone will know the answer lol...

  6. Great score! We've picked up several pieces of Paul McCobb lately at good prices too. I don't know what's wrong with these sellers who don't research what they've got...but thank goodness for them! :)

    1. Hi Dana. Thank Goodness is right! I've been doing much better with craigslist and thrift stores lately than estate sales. The estate sale pricing has gotten a little off putting lately. I think my days of staking out sales to be first in line may be waning. Only for the very most special items! The Keepers!

  7. Congrats on your Paul McCobb dual score. I'm loving my Paul I got at Vandeventer Vintage -- thanks for the tip on the store opening!

  8. Dying over that cabinet. Fantastic scores! Please send some good mid century furniture w/ cheap pricing vibes over to the Omaha area!

    1. Hi Rachael. MmmmMMBazinga! Check your Karmic-mail for said cheap pricing vibes! Click here to find a $100 Lane Acclaim Dining set in Omaha! Man, if I was in the Omaha area you'd be reading about that set here!

    2.'s another neat piece. China Cab for $75.

      An nice little Danish Modern china cab for $50.

      And For GODS Sake...Call these people and ask about the coffee table!

      Buy this, knock the base off and put some satin black hairpin legs or short wood taper legs on it for a great TV stand! What? Only $40?

      Note that you would have never found any of these using key words like "mid century", "retro" or "danish modern"...Hmmm, must be something to that!