Research Letter #20, Cherry Modern, Updated January 2012

The following information is based on archival sources owned by Klinginfo.com. Our level of confidence in this information is very high, as it is supported by multiple documents. Maker: Kling Factories, Main Office in Mayville, Chautauqua County, NY, USA Identification: Back Stamp Numbers 20-24, rectangular metal Kling drawer plate. Wood: Solid Cherry Age: Manufactured between 1950 and 1954. Site of Production: 20H denotes County, NY, USA Style: Modern Other: Strong horizontal design theme, stain and finish have strong reddish tone. John Alexander Kling, a Swedish immigrant, founded Kling Factories in 1911 and oversaw tremendous growth until he passed away in 1934. His son Arvid J. Kling was President of Kling Factories between 1934 and 1955. In 1962 the Kling family sold the company to Baumritter Ethan Allen which used the Kling brand name into the 1990’s. The original Mayville plant operated through 2003. The following research summary was compiled by Arvid’s son William Alexander Kling, and Arvid’s Grandson James Arvid Kling. During the post WWII period, Kling Factories made furniture in hundreds of styles in Solid Maple, Solid Mahogany and Solid Cherry. When introduced around 1950, suite 20 was one of the first cherry suites and the first post-war modern-style cherry design promoted in Kling catalogs. It was the most expensive suite sold by Kling, selling at prices 50% greater than the same time. Cherry Modern #20 had many interesting design details and was no doubt costly to manufacture. In the mid 1950’s it was replaced . While modern styles are strongly subject to personal taste, suite 20 is perhaps the best example of a Kling modern design during Kling Factories peak years of production, reputation, and quality. The following documents are included in this research package and contain further information of value to collectors and owners. These documents are for your personal or business reference use. Please do not publish these images or post them on web pages, Facebook, etc. Wholesale Pricelists: October 16, 1950 and December 27, 1950 Retail Catalog Excerpt: 5 pieces depicted on one page from 1953 catalog. Kling Quality and Care Retail Catalog Excerpt: 4 pages from 1953 catalog (in same PDF file as above) Magazine Advertisement: Full Page Color, Home Magazine October 1953.

Page 2: Value Perspective, Suite 20 Cherry Modern The following represents our most recent understanding of the vintage furniture market and our own experience and knowledge of Kling Furniture. Vintage furniture prices are subject to personal style preference and negotiating skill. Prices vary widely by region, how furniture is sold and most importantly the condition of the finish. This information is meant to be helpful guidance to our customers but should not be interpreted as a formal appraisal.
Quantity Produced: The Klinginfo.com archives do not contain any corporate records from Kling Factories which show the quantities of pieces or suites produced. However, we have enough other documentation and experience to distinguish between styles that are “High Volume,” “Moderate Volume,” and “Low Volume.” Suite 20 Cherry Modern was produced in Moderate to Low Volumes. Appearances in the vintage furniture markets are irregular but not rare. “Is my Kling furniture valuable and what should I do with it?” This is the basic question of most Klinginfo.com customers. What follows is the opinion of three generations of Kling family members who maintain the archives, have purchased and owned numerous Kling sets, and continue to follow the vintage furniture markets. We consider Suite 20 Cherry Modern to be what we term an Heirloom Value set—assuming the modern styling is appealing to its owner. Kling made many modern suites during the 1950’s and we find this to be one of the most desirable. It is both practical for everyday use, attractive, and built to high quality standards. While this is not an antique or a collectible style at this point in time, a set of Suite #20 in good to excellent may represent a particularly good value as a practical alternative to new bedroom furniture; indeed it is better built than most new furniture you will see today. Also, this set has the larger and more useful case pieces such as a double dresser and chest-on-chest which continue to make it practical for use in the 21st century. Selling this furniture at a good price will require a buyer who understands its quality and likes the coloring and modern style; the accompanying documents will assist in a sale. It may be preferable to document this set and keep it in the family or give it to a newly married couple or others who appreciate its style, quality and its practical value. The Value of a complete set of Suite 20 Cherry Modern in very good to excellent condition that includes a bed, double dresser, chest-on-chest, and one or two nightstands is estimated at Modern styles are particularly hard to price due to their relative rarity in vintage markets and the dependence on personal taste for a successful sale,

attended auction or be the retail price in a finer vintage furniture shop. The low end would represent a fair price if the furniture must be removed from your home by a dealer or the price to expect at a garage sale or similar venue. In all cases, structural damage to a leg or drawer or significant damage to the finish will greatly reduce furniture value.

Klinginfo.com
Archivists and Researchers of Kling Furniture Information: 1911-1962 The price list you see here is a copy of one page of the wholesale price book used by the main office of Kling Factories in Mayville, N.Y. These are the prices the factory charged to furniture retailers and other wholesale buyers. The significance of this document is that it matches the suite or item number found on the back of furniture with the date that it was offered. These prices should never be considered a current value or appraisal value of furniture .

Klinginfo.com
Archivists and Researchers of Kling Furniture Information: 1911-1962 The price list you see here is a copy of one page of the wholesale price book used by the main office of Kling Factories in Mayville, N.Y. These are the prices the factory charged to furniture retailers and other wholesale buyers. The significance of this document is that it matches the suite or item number found on the back of furniture with the date that it was offered. These prices should never be considered a current value or appraisal value of furniture.