How Do You Identify Baker Furniture
Baker furniture has been around for over 100 years and still exists today. Baker furniture has identifying tags.
A brass tag marked most Baker furniture. The brass tag is usually located inside the top drawer or on the back of the furniture. The font is generally in cursive. Upholstered pieces will often only have the words “Baker Furniture” on the tag, but other pieces might also have a small crown and a leaf.
If the piece was from the Milling Road collection, it will have a stamp instead of a brass tag. It will read “Milling Road” with “Baker Furniture” in capital letters underneath.
How Do You Read A Lane Serial Number
If you have a piece of Lane furniture, you might have noticed a 6 or 7 digit number stamped on them. This is a serial number. When read backward, the serial number lists the date the item was madefor example, an item with serial number 965090 was made on 09/05/69.
Sometimes there is an extra number added to the serial number. This reveals which plant location it was made in. Therefore, if the number from the above example instead reads 4965090, we would know that it was made on 09/05/69 at plant #4.
The Baker Chieftain 1998
Baker also made a Chieftain Chair in 1998 when they decided to reintroduce Finn Juhls furniture line. In a recent conversation with John Black, former Vice President of Design at Baker Furniture in the 1990s, he discussed the launch of the Chieftain Chair. The chair was designed in adherence to the original Finn Juhl 1950s chair . As we can clearly see, the 1990s Baker Chieftain Chair has the capped horn feature, which the 1950s chair also had. Unfortunately, the 1990s chair did not sell well, and was discontinued after a short time. John also recalls at the time of the launch that the 1990s Chieftain Chair it was presented alongside an authentic 1950s Chieftain Chair.
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Fabled Baker Furniture Co Now Owned By Chinese Firm
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Baker Furniture, the high-end furniture company that burnished Grand Rapids’ reputation as “Furniture City” before leaving for North Carolina, is now owned by a Chinese company.
Kohler Co., the Wisconsin firm that acquired Baker Furniture from North American Phillips in 1986, announced it has agreed in principal to sell Kohler Interiors – which includes Baker – to a U.S.-based subsidiary of Hong Kong-based Samson Holding Ltd..
The $35 million sale takes Kohler, best known for its plumbing fixtures, out of the residential furniture business.
“Baker, Milling Road and McGuire target the upper end/luxury niche of the market and will serve as a complement to other Samson companies which compete in the middle and upper price point segments of the home furnishings industry,” according to a Feb. 16 news release by Samson.
Founded as Cook, Baker & Co. in Allegan by Dutch immigrant Siebe Baker in 1890, the company grew in the 1920s to become a pillar of West Michigan’s residential furniture industry with giant plants in Grand Rapids and Holland.
Though the Baker family sold the in 1929, the company went into bankruptcy in 1934 and Hollis Baker, son of the company’s founder, bought the company back, acquiring several competitors between 1948 and 1967. The company was sold to Magnavox Inc. in 1969.
The Baker name still is found throughout West Michigan, including the Baker Furniture Collection, a museum at the Kendall College of Art and Design.
Designing Without Limitsbakers Impact On Global Furniture Design
Hollis became Bakers president upon his fathers death, leading the company into further unexplored territories such Chinese Modern furniture and later in 1949, the first Asian furniture collection to be crafted in the U.S.
Its Far East collection in 1949 was only the beginning of Bakers exploratory approach to creating its furniture collections. Just shy of a decade earlier, Hollis had collected more than 1,500 antiques as part of Bakers first private furniture show, which happened to be one of the largest the world had seen at the time. This move diversified Bakers aesthetic all the more with, not just different cultures informing its designs, but an era-hopping eye that would mean Baker could be welcomed into almost any home.
Image Credit: Baker
1950 started just as strongly with Bakers debut Italian neoclassical collection entitled Palladian, and just a year later, Baker invited iconic designer Finn Juhl to collaborate on its first Danish Modern capsule.
Following Hollis death, his successor was his son Hollis M. Baker who led his father and grandfathers powerhouse brand to further firsts. These included provincial English and French designs and the companys new manufacturing facility that would allow it to expand further without compromising the exacting standards for which it had become known on the worlds stage.
Image Credit: Baker
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Introducing Siebe And Hollis S Baker Founding Father And Son
Baker furnitures history can be traced back to the late 1800s when Siebe Baker relocated from the Netherlands to Michigan and founded his first company, one that specialised in interior woodwork. Just a few years into trading, it released its earliest pieces of furniturea golden oak desk and bookcase with utilitarian lines and subtle Art Nouveau influence. And so Baker began to mould into the premium furniture maker for which it would soon be known.
Image Credit: Baker
Throughout the 1920s, Siebe and his son Hollis experimented with Modernism, expanding the companys horizons and welcoming designs by the likes of industrial designer Donald Deskey, stage designer Joseph Urban and Modernist Kem Weber. These were to be the first of decades upon decades of cutting-edge collaborations that would catapult Baker into the design history books.
Label Lists For Identification
There are many guides online for label and furniture marking identification, including:
- Arts and Crafts furniture makers and their marks can be found at Arts and Crafts Collector.
- Worthpoint has a online, listing many furniture makers.
- Furniture expert and historian Fred Taylor lists and shows many furniture marks, including detailed close ups and placement.
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Is Duncan Phyfe Furniture Marked
While most furniture makers did put their name or logo on their work, Duncan Phyfe rarely did. So if your piece wasn’t one of the few he did sign, identifying whether it is an authentic Duncan Phyfe work might be a little harder.
To identify an unmarked Duncan Phyfe piece, first look for documentation, such as an invoice, to prove he made the item. If you don’t have any paper proof, look for identifying features typical of a Phyfe piece.
How To Identify Baker Furniture
With so many different looks that the company has produced over the years, you may ask how to identify furniture by Baker.
Like most fine furniture, the first step in identifying Baker Furniture is making sure the marks, stamps, and tags are authentic.
Baker Fine Furniture used only a handful of labels and logos over the years, so it is imperative to find these first. In most cases, you will find the Baker Label inside the top drawer of any case piece . If you do not see the brass tag, check the back of the piece.
Baker Company markings from the late 20th century are mostly a brass tag, with a Cursive font, accompanied by a small crown with a leaf through it. However, especially on upholstered pieces, you may only see the words, âBaker Furnitureâ on the tag, again in a cursive font.
You may also see a âMilling Roadâ stamp with the printed words, âBaker Furnitureâ in capital letters underneath. âMilling Roadâ was yet another line by Baker Furniture, mostly targeted towards a more mass appeal market. Many pieces with the âMilling Roadâ mark may feature simpler styling or less expensive materials.
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A World Of Great Design
1980 to 2000In 1980, innovative Italian interior designer Alessandro Gambrielli Gambalogna creates a collection of approximately 25 avant garde occasional and dining room items simply known as Alessandro. A year later, Baker launched its Stately Homes Collection, with reproductions from originals found in celebrated castles and estates in the United Kingdom. The positive reception of John Saladinos 1984 Façade Collection launch reaffirms the importance of Bakers work with top designers around the world.Kohler Co. acquires Baker Furniture from North American Phillips in 1986, making it the cornerstone of its Interiors Group. The late 80s mark significant debuts, including the McMillen Collection, continental furniture drawn from the archives the much heralded New York design firm, and the Charles Pfister Collection of Art Deco furniture.Milling Road is re-introduced as a division of Baker in 1990, offering less formal, more livable furniture at a lower price point. That same year, the Smithsonian inducts the #789 Chippendale Chair into its permanent collection. In 1996, Baker introduces the Barbara Barry Collection, featuring furniture from the California-based artist and designer that draws on 30s Hollywood glamour.
Which Other Furniture Brands Are In The Same Category As Baker Furniture
As mentioned before, Baker is one of the best furniture brands you will come across in the market. If you are not familiar with this brand, think of it in line with the following top popular brands:
Henkel Harris: Harris is truly exceptional traditional solid wood furniture. The furniture is custom-made with a traditional feel that surpasses any other brand in the market.
Henredon:Henredon has different quality levels. If you purchase pieces from their upper rank, you will get the same quality that Baker may offer.
Century furniture: Century offers excellent furniture too. Though their products tend towards the sublime, dont hesitate to buy their used pieces if you find them in good condition.
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The Baker 1951 Showroom
When we study Finn Juhls drawings of the 1951 Baker showroom, we can see that the Chieftain chair is nowhere to be seen. It seems a strange considering it was his most famous and celebrated design that brought him into the international spotlight in 1950. Whatever the case, it was not included in the original Baker offering in 1951.
Who Used The Labels
Furniture labels and marks have been used since the 19th century, and the number of marks out there is mind-boggling — in his book Arts and Crafts Shopmarks, author Bruce E. Johnson noted that more than 1,300 marks were used from 1895 – 1940 by artists and furniture makers in the Arts & Crafts movement alone, and that doesn’t include marks from the hundreds of other furniture makers. So, determining who made your furniture can take considerable time and research.
There are many types of markings , but there are generally four different groups who marked their furniture:
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Baker Furniture Price Lists
Baker Furniture Price lists mostly fall in the hands of furniture dealers who retailed this fine line of furniture. However, we can estimate many of todays Baker Company values by looking at comparable listings.
In todays market, single vintage dining chairs by Baker Company can go for $150 -$500 a piece. Baker Dining Tables can reach $1500-$2000. And Baker China Cabinets can be purchased on the secondary market for $1200-$2500.
As far as vintage bedroom furniture by Baker, expect to see carved poster beds by Baker to cost between $800-$2000. Fine Mahogany and Inlaid dressers and chests of drawers can be $500-$1500 a piece.
Accurate Baker Used Furniture Price lists can also be estimated by browsing our selection below of current pieces of used Baker Furniture for sale. .
When you decide to furnish your space with vintage furniture, most people expect to save money. And certainly, Baker Co. Furniture value can seem diminished when you consider the new cost. However, Baker Fine Furnitures worth is still quite high.
Baker falls into the Heirloom Furniture category. Truly, you can expect a fine piece of Baker Company Furniture to stand the test of time.
Finding Furniture Serial Numbers
Most items made will have a serial number on them, and this includes furniture. It can usually be found stamped, etched into, or on a paper label attached to the furniture piece.
What the serial number means will vary depending on the piece of furniture it’s on. Serial numbers will often reveal the manufacturer, model number, or date that the furniture was made. Finding the serial number might require some hunting.
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Where To Buy A Vintage Furniture
Luckily, you can find many places selling secondhand treasures, making it easier to find great vintage decor conveniently.
- Is buying vintage furniture worth it?
Vintage furniture is often higher quality than new furniture and will last you for years to come.
- Are there safety risks with vintage furniture?
Any furniture painted before 1978 may contain lead paint. The dust and debris from lead paint can cause lead poisoning, which is toxic for humans.
- How do you buy at the right price?
If you’ve done your homework and know roughly how much a piece of furniture is worth by comparing similar sales online, then set your ceiling price and stick to it.
Where Is Baker Furniture Manufactured
Baker Furniture started outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan. For most of the companys history, they were located there or within the Grand Rapids vicinity.
Of course, Baker Furniture cannot be discussed without discussing the original setting of their company.
During the second half of the 19th century, Grand Rapids became a huge lumber processing center, fueled by the harvest of dense forests in the region. This helped other furniture companies besides Baker grow as well, including John Widdicomb Furniture Company. Grand Rapids gained the nickname Furniture City during this period.
However, in 2006, Baker moved all of their plants to High Point, North Carolina. Baker Furniture is one of the few remaining American-made Furniture companies.
Bakers move of all operations to High Point in 2006, North Carolina likely had to do with their greater emphasis on upholstered goods.
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Behind The Brand: Baker
The designer furniture brand promises immediate style potential with its timeless transitional creations
New to our compendium of luxury furniture brands is American sweetheart furniture brand Baker. Epitomised by its high-end aesthetic influenced by many of fashions greatest houses and icons, from Yves Saint Laurent to Halston, even a single piece of Baker furniture in a room will become an immediate and effortless showstopper. Its simply in its design DNA. . Discover the origins of the US tastemaker and some of its most notable creations and collaborations.
Is Baker Furniture Still Made
In part of the mid-nineties, Baker was a premier high-quality furniture brand that set the benchmark for other brands. With the introduction of other modern brands, the name seems to be overtaken.
Though it is no longer at the top of everything today, the brand is still going strong. It still offers different lines of furniture including traditional, contemporary, decorative upholstery, and French.
In fact, in the last few years, we have seen Baker increasing its supply. They now have some of their items processed outside the US, but still, maintain the standards in the quality being produced.
That said, Baker furniture is still in the market and still remains one of the leading brands when looking for traditional furniture.
Their historic Stately Home Collection is still entirely made in the US. Baker Stately Home collection represents one of its strongest following in the secondary market.
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Design Collaborations Global Openings
2000 to 2015During this decade, Baker debuts collections from a series of celebrated designers, including Bill Sofield, Thomas Pheasant, Laura Kirar, Michael S Smith and Jacques Garcia. In 2005, Baker launches Collectors Edition, inspired by classic European designs, and in 2008 and 2009, extraordinary collections from design luminaries Tony Duquette and Andre Arbus.Hollywood royalty experiences Baker elegance firsthand when the company is asked to furnish the Green Rooms for the Academy Awards presentations in 2011 and 2013. During this same period, the company provides furniture for a VIP lounge at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week three years running. This later era marks a flurry of international showroom openings: in Paris, Moscow, Singapore and three cities in China.
Identifying A Baker Design
To know a Baker table, a Baker couch or indeed any of its discerning designs by sight is a great skill indeed. Its aesthetic reach from Asia to Europe and from brown furniture antiques to Modernism make it no easy feat to identify what is a Baker piece and what is not.
Confirmation can often be found in the opening of doors and drawers where the oval-shaped brass Baker tag can typically be found with its iconic cursive font. Or, on upholstered designs, the very same calligraphic Baker branding can be found on a discreet embroidered label. In older piecesBaker collectiblesearlier renditions of its branding might be spotted, such as the crown emblem that signified its belief in tradition, the tulip that paid homage to its Dutch founder, or even the palm tree that was integrated into its Charleston collection in the 1970s.
Essentially, the word to sum up Bakers approach to design is diverse. From its influences and its collaborators to its branding, the Baker family showed no fear in straying from the status quo from day dot. Three generations and counting have seen thousands of furniture concepts realised, countless design unions, and a promise to transport the viewer to other lands and other times all without stepping over the threshold.
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