The Heritage Collection by Stanley Furniture – What’s Old is New Again

Theme II Hall Credenza, Era of Manufacture 1965-1969, pecan solids and veneers

THE HERITAGE COLLECTION BY STANLEY FURNITURE

One of the highlights of my trip to High Point this past market was my visit to the Stanley Furniture showroom to see the Heritage Collection.  Over the course of several months, the folks at Stanley scoured Ebay, Etsy and Craigslist for Stanley Furniture originals dating from 1950-1969.  Each of the 40 pieces they found were brought back to the Stanley facility in Martinsville, VA, where they were painstakingly taken apart, restored, and reassembled at the same facility in which they were originally assembled decades earlier. Each of the 40 pieces included a Certificate of Authenticity and a dossier documenting its restoration.

For those of you interested in viewing the restoration process, here’s a short video by Stanley :

Stanley Furniture Heritage Collection from Stanley Furniture on Vimeo.

I first heard about what Stanley had in the works when I visited their showroom at Las Vegas Market in July and knew I had to come to High Point in October to see for myself.  I was not disappointed.   Since coming back from High Point, everyone I have come across, whether in person or social media, has said that the Stanley Furniture Heritage Collection was the highlight of their trip. What they have done is innovative in the home furnishing sector, and perhaps inspired by the Ferrari Classiche program, in which owners of classic Ferraris are given certificates of authenticity,  and restoration and maintenance services are provided.  Whatever their motivations may be, the idea of the Heritage Collection is brilliant – branding at its best if you will,  as it reminds us all that Stanley is a brand with history that has stood the test of time.   They stand behind their product and that much of what they have produced in the past is the basis for design today.

I asked Randy Wells, the VP of Brand and Retail Development (and one of the forward thinking execs for making the Heritage Collection a reality), if they were planning on reintroducing the pieces to the line at a later date.  He noted that that was not the plan and that the idea of the Heritage Collection was to celebrate Stanley Furniture’s long history of great product and outstanding design.  They certainly were not in it to make money, as all 40 pieces were surprisingly very well priced, considering all the recent work that was put into their restoration.  As a matter of fact, they were priced so well that buyers had no hesitation and all 40 were sold on the first day of market (in 2 hours, I am told.)

I would love to see the pieces reintroduced into the line at a future date, as the pieces shown are the inspiration for what is trending in the market right now.  Manufacturers are looking back to see what to design going forward, and as a manufacturer, what better way to do that than to go back into your own archives? I can’t think of a better way to “recycle”!

And in case you were unable to make market or you are an avid fan of midcentury modern furniture, here are a few snapshots of the collection.

Spade Handle Dresser and Chest, Era of Manufacture 1950-1955, walnut solids and veneers
Spade Handle Dresser hardware detail
Spindle Back Lounge Chairs, Era of Manufacture 1960-1968, ash solids
Finnline Triple Dresser, Era of Manufacture 1960-1964,  Flat-cut walnut with Quarter-cut walnut
Finnline One Drawer Nightstand, Era of Manufacture 1960-9164, Flat-cut walnut with Quarter-cut walnut
Chest, Era of Manufacture 1950-1955, cherry solids
Detail shot of chest
Danish China, Era of Manufacture 1950-1955, teak solids and veneers

I am not sure what Stanley has up their sleeves for the Las Vegas Market in January, but rumor has it that it’s going to be good, so you can bet I’ll be there to see it and this time I’ll act quickly.  When I arrived at the showroom that afternoon, there was not one tag with a sold sign, but I stepped away for a half hour to look at another collection in the showroom and by the time I got back, the pieces I wanted to purchase had “SOLD” written across the tags in red.  As they say, you snooze, you lose – and I lost out on a beautiful credenza and night stands.


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