Thursday, April 7, 2011

Paul MacAlister made me cry, again

Third time is not a charm! I really thought I had a chance this round but no luck. I was swiped in the last 10 seconds on several auctions. Well played my adversaries, please send photos your spoils.

All information and images are from ebay listings by seller decoray

Mid Century Modern Miniature Low Upholstered Bench
The bench features a walnut frame and a hand painted wooden cushion and tubular metal legs.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Cabinet & End Tables
The set consists of a TV or Stereo cabinet and 2 matching end tables. All are done in a laminated walnut over a blond wood. All the edges are shown and mortised to give the set a 'thin edge / Herman Miller' feel. Very 1950s. The doors on the cabinet pivot open and the drawers in the end tables are completely finished with mortised corners. All have metal handles too.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Mushroom Lamp
The lamps are made of painted wood shades and bases with tapered metal shafts and tiny metal on-off switches on the bases.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Walnut Dining Table
This table is made of solid walnut and is Scandinavian inspired. It has breadboard ends and is beveled on the underside.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Bookcase & Books
This bookcase is made of solid walnut. The books are all made of wood and hand painted. Some are not completely painted and are meant to be stacked or shelved where the sides don't show.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Coffee & End Table set
The coffee table set is Scandinavian inspired and made of solid walnut.

Mid Century Modern Miniature Living Room Hand Crafted
The sectional with its hand painted abstract hand painted fabric design also sports tiny taper brass legs. The coffee table is Scandinavian inspired and made of solid walnut.

(All information and images above are from ebay listings by seller decoray)

A little more information on Paul R. MacAlister from The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA)
U.S. designer in Chicago. He served in the U.S. Navy during WW II in its Department of Training Devices, along with designer Henry Glass, under the head of its design program, Cleveland designer Viktor Schreckengost. MacAlister came to Chicago in 1946 to reorganize design at Montgomery Ward, and to conduct a color survey for them. He was one of the first designers to venture into television. He later served as a consultant and appeared frequently on the NBC Home Show. He developed and mass-produced a "Plan-a-Room" kit with scale furniture and room layouts that could be used to plan and organize home spaces for consumers.

MacAlister was president of the Industrial Designers Institute (IDI) in 1953. He founded, and for many years chaired, IDI's pioneer national design awards program, which began in 1951 and continued until 1965. He was awarded IDI Fellowship, which was honored by IDSA when it was formed in 1965 by IDI and other organizations. He lived in Lake Bluff, IL.


  1. All gorgeous pieces. Congrats to the winners. What nostalgia!
    I see DecoRay has more pieces up now folks, so you have yet another chance!

  2. I managed to get the bench, lamps, and bookcase. (Sorry if I was your sniper, mini-dork! :)

    But I was crying when I got sniped on the coffee-and-end tables.

    Thanks for posting these pics!

  3. These are amazing, amazing pieces! I am so sorry for your loss. I feel a loss just looking at them and knowing they are beyond my means and unavailable! :-)

  4. Although part of the allure of these tiny items is that they are one-of-a-kind, made by hand by Mr. MacAlister, it's sad that only one person can own them...

  5. doris.minimodernistasApril 8, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Hi all!
    Hey DollStories, I was the last-minute bidder on those two lamps you won! RATS!!! but congrats on your victory.

  6. Wow.. I wish I won the lottery.. these pieces are priceless, really.

    Congrats to Glenna on the wins! I hope you show us some pictures!!!

  7. Dollstories
    I'm glad it was you. As long as you promise to post pictures, I forgive you :P I love that bench, can't wait to see what you do with it.

  8. It is so much fun knowing that there are other people like me who love these pieces! Thank goodness for the internet. Otherwise I would feel like such a weirdo!

    Anyhoo, @doris, HAH! Gotcha! ;)
    @Ann, thanks... and @Mini Dork, you should see the bench in person... even up close it looks like real fabric. It's actually a darker, more bluish red than in the ebay pics.

    I started posting pics of them on
    ...more to come! Good luck this week, everybody, with the last lot.


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