Frank Rohloff Table, ca. 1968

Value (2009) | $1,500 Auction

The table I bought, I think, about 1968. It was from a designer store here in Santa Clara. And, unfortunately, I don't know who designed it. I just love the table. I wanted to bring it here to find out something. I'm an on-line researcher and I teach on-line research. I haven't been able to find any words on-line or off-line.

This petal motif here is not the most obvious-looking flower, but to me it's definitely a representation of flower petals, and the base has a kind of a mushroom-look base. The table was made here in California and the tops were supplied by a man named Frank Rohloff. And Frank Rohloff was interested in combining new and old materials. And here you have walnut and a plastic resin. And the plastic resin would be set with the walnut pieces on top and then it would be polished. Frank Rohloff produced a number of different accessories. He did wall murals, he did a number of very famous maps for a few Los Angeles-based interiors. He also did a number of coffee tables and side tables, all with this particular black resin base inset with walnut shapes. It was done in a very simple, modern style. But the lasting images that the market is interested in today are this kind of flower petal shaped...things that are really evocative of the late '60s. The flower petals are not placed exactly on a perfect scale. Some of the petals are slightly larger and also they have slightly larger spaces in between them. And that shows that these things were done in a fairly small production run. Which also fits in why there's not a lot of information about him. The base is made out of an oiled walnut, which is probably exactly the same type of wood as the top. The wood on the top has faded a little bit. Probably it's been getting a little bit more sunlight. Do you remember how much you originally paid for it?

I'm not sure, but I think it was $110, which was a lot for the late 1960s.

That sounds like a lot of money in the 1960s--


Frank Rohloff's work is just starting to emerge as a collectible in the market of 20th century design. And I've seen a number of his larger tables come up recently, but I've never seen one with this kind of beautiful original flower imagery. And I would put a value of about $1,500 at auction.

Wow, very good.

Thank you so much for bringing it in.

Thank you very much for your help. I appreciate knowing this. It's exciting.

Appraisal Details

Los Angeles Modern Auctions
Sherman Oaks, CA
Appraised value (2009)
$1,500 Auction
San Jose, CA (August 15, 2009)

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