On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

MCM Teak Buffet from the Mount Airy Chair Company

Unfortunately one of our neighbors passed away last year, and her family decided to sell the house. So they held an estate sale this Spring. We needed some furniture, and I went in hopes of finding some pieces for our home. Much to my delight, I spotted a buffet that had some interesting MCM lines. Delia was out of town and I did not know if she would like it or not, so I did not pull the trigger right away. I spoke with Delia later that day, and she told me that if I liked it I should buy it.

Fortunately it was still there the next day, and everything was marked at half-price! I guess it was meant to be. When I moved the buffet from the wall, I read the label on the back. It was made out of teak by the Mount Airy Chair Company. I was completely stoked!

The top was water stained and chipped, but I didn't care. Delia said she would help restore it.

At first I thought the knobs and slide door hardware were brass, but they are actually all wood. And the top drawer is lined with velvet. We bought some nickel finished hardware to replace them, but I think we are going to keep the original hardware.

I tried looking up some background information on the company and found this information:

This from the Mt. Airy Chamber of Commerce.
The Mount Airy Furniture Company was formed in 1895 by J. F. Yokley, C. R. Merritt and E. H. Kochtitzky and it manufactured case goods including bedroom furniture, executive office furniture, pie safes and various cabinets. Through the years it expanded to include dining room and occasional chairs in its production. It merged in 1966 with the Mount Airy Chair Company which had been formed in 1921, by the Yokley brothers, Bruce and James. An article in 1928 states the manufacturing output included drawing room and dining room chairs, dining room furniture, and bedroom chairs. Unfortunately, on June 9, 1997, the Mount Airy Furniture Company was completely destroyed by a devastating fire.
I couldn't find much else, except that their furniture was also made out of mahogany and cherry. I also found that one of their buffets (not sure what year) was made with a black marble top. Ours is veneer.

We had some people recommend Restor-A-Finish, so Delia bought some and tried it out today. It helped a little bit, but not much. We are going to strip and finish it at a later date. So I guess I will have to wait a little longer for it to be fully finished. It's not a priority at the moment because we still have lots to do in the house.


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  2. You mad a marvelous find! I have this model set that I got from my mother-in-law. I had shipped back from Florida to Illinois after her death. I have the dining table, two arm chairs, four side chairs, a buffet just like yours and a buffet with hutch. She also had a matching desk but she sold it when she moved to smaller digs.

    I had it restored to its original glory. I retained it's original honey color but opted for a more durable finish of polyurethane varnish as I use it all the time. The original shellac finish was too fragile.

    I have been looking for chairs for several years but no luck yet. I'm still looking.

    Congratulations on finding such a beautiful piece of modernist furniture.

  3. By the way, it's not teak. It's a walnut veneer. My set has the original labels which state that it's walnut.

  4. Walnut is one of my favorite woods, and if it was made in walnut we would love that too. However, the wood description is labeled in 2 places-the original tag and stamped in the wood on the back of the buffet. Thanks for letting us know that this is part of a set; we'll be on the lookout for other pieces. I like the look of walnut and teak better than the cherry or mahogany (too red).

  5. I can send you pictures of the other pieces if you like. That way you will know what you are looking for.

    1. Hi, I just found this thread while trying to get some info on some pieces I have. It sounds like we have the same set - I have 2 credenzas, one is larger and has a hutch and I also have a table with 5 legs and 2 extra leaves. I'm not sure if the table is part of the original set, and am really curious about what the chairs look like. I'd love to see your photos :)

  6. This Guy has more pieces. He has the buffet also the buffet and hutch combination with a table and leaves. [