Rare. I really despise using that word because it is so over-used. But, in this case I cannot think of a better adjective for this fabulous mid-century modern server #3184 designed by the famed Arthur Umanoff for Cavalier Corporation’s Dimension Group. I have seen very few of them still around. It is comprised of a beautifully sculpted walnut double shelved cart on casters with brass sabots. The handle integrated into the sides of the cart is simply stunning. And the tambor door. Wow! it opens to reveal deep storage for, I am assuming, liquor bottles etc. And then let us talk about the surprise and usability of the awesome white laminate top. This gorgeous classic cart will grace most any room in your home. Do not just relegate it to the kitchen or dining room. Use it in your master bedroom, living room, sunroom, or study. And although mid-century modern in style it will complement many design styles from Hollywood Regency to Traditional and from Modern Country to Industrial.
Arthur Umanoff (1923-1985), a Pratt and American School of Design graduate, was a fabulous and prolific mid-century modern and modern designer during the mid-late 20th century. He began his career in 1952 at The Elton Company. His designs include a wide range of décor items as well as furniture which focused for a time on fun bars and barstools and a variety of patio pieces in wrought iron and wood and laminates. Some of the companies he designed for include Shaver Howard, Washington Woodcraft, Howard Miller, Contemporary Shells, Cavalier Corporation, and Arleigh to name just a few. His designs are widely sought after today.
Cavalier Corporation of Chattanooga, Tennessee was so named in 1938 however their roots go much further back to the Tennessee Furniture Company, a sawmill which opened in 1865, but began making furniture out of the flawed pieces of wood that would not have been sellable otherwise. Indeed, they have an interesting and unusual story. In 1905 the second owner of Tennessee Furniture Company, Gaston Raoul, purchased the Odorless Refrigeration Company which led the company into ice cooler production, and they became the largest manufacturer in the country. Then in 1923 they expanded to included cedar hope chests and soda coolers naming that line “Cavalier”. That Cavalier name is now most associated with the Coca-Cola coolers and vending machines the firm made for many years! In 1938 the company name was officially changed to Cavalier Corporation. Some of their furniture lines were designed by such greats as Gilbert Rhode in the 1930s and by Arthur Umanoff during the mid-20th century. In the 1960s they were taken over by the Seeburg Corporation, think jukeboxes, and Seeburg was subsequently taken over by a succession of companies until in 1987 they filed for bankruptcy and were spun off as an employee-owned company.
This rare, yes, I said rare, and handsome cart, whether you deem it a serving cart, bar cart, drink cart, beverage cart, coffee cart, or dessert cart…needs to be yours!