A respected war correspondent, avid outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman and prolific author, Ernest Hemingway stands out as a giant among men. Fifty years ago, his work, The Old Man and the Sea, was recognized with the Nobel Prize for Literature (1954). In recognition of the 50th Anniversary of Hemingway’s Nobel Prize and its own Centennial celebration, Thomasville Furniture introduced a new Ernest Hemingway collection at the International Home Furnishings Market in April 2004. The collection is now available in Thomasville stores across the country.
The collection reads almost like an anthology of the author’s works, drawing inspiration from his lifestyle and adventures in Europe, Africa, Key West and Havana. Like the author, the collection embodies a special worldliness, an eclectic attitude and a unique story line all its own. “The collection is designed for consumers who not only appreciate fine craftsmanship,” said Ryan Tessau, Director of Case Goods Design, for Thomasville, “but who also appreciate furniture that makes a highly personal statement.”
“Many people would have loved the chance to slip into Ernest Hemingway’s shoes for one summer of his life,” said Marla Metzner, president of Fashion Licensing of America, Inc., the company representing the Ernest Hemingway family and estate. “He was as renowned for his literary achievements as he was for his independent lifestyle. We're very pleased with the new Ernest Hemingway Collection by Thomasville. It really is reflective of Hemingway’s complex character.”
Delicate inlays, luxuriously exotic woods, turned legs and leather insets accentuate the classic lines and detailing of the new Ernest Hemingway bedroom collection. Dorchester chests with gracefully shaped fronts and bracket legs in mahogany solids have leather drawer fronts and Chippendale-style brass pulls. The Paris Bombe three-drawer chest is detailed with mahogany solids, leather drawer fronts and a marble top. Dramatic new beds include the Aberdare Club, an upholstered sleigh bed in weathered leather with mahogany solids and etched brass inlay that recalls the age-softened leather chairs of the African gentlemen’s club; the Old Havana canopy bed featuring a high Spanish headboard with solid turned posts and laurel burl veneer; and the very continental Daneli bed, with French rococo styling in solid mahogany with laurel burl veneer.
The travelogue continues in the dining room with groupings inspired by some of Hemingway’s favorite dining spots. Game tables in the famous Europa Bar in Venice inspired the Europa dining table. The 52-inch round Europa table top is crafted in mahogany solids, with laurel burl, rosewood and ebony inlay; it sits atop a fluted pedestal on a scrolled base. The group is completed with a carved wooden framed armchair. New china cabinets include the Savoy, its Chippendale styling inspired by the venerable old British hotel, in Select hardwoods solids with burl veneer; and the Renata display, named after the young countess in Hemingway’s Across the River and Into the Trees, with a single drawer base, columned corners and Chippendale accents.
Hemingway’s personal belongings reflected the rich diversity of his life’s experiences, as do the occasional groups that bear his name. San Sebastian rectangular cocktail, sofa and lamp tables, named for the Spanish resort city Pauline and Ernest Hemingway visited in 1928, have Spanish-style bell-turned legs with a scroll stretcher constructed of select hardwoods solids and a laurel burl frame and beveled glass top. The warm glow of the laurel burl veneer on the Collingwood chests and tables sport the patina of the writer’s well-traveled trunks. Aptly named for Hemingway’s friend, CBS radio and television correspondent Charles Collingwood, the grouping includes a chair side chest, two over three-drawer chest, and Field Chest Cocktail table.
San Marco tables, inspired by the magnificent San Marco Piazza in Italy, are clearly influenced by the square’s magnificent renaissance architecture. A console with Renaissance-style urn legs on a burl-veneered base is crafted of mahogany solids, with a marble top and antique mirror-frame back. The oval cocktail table has a reeded pedestal, scroll base and stone top inlaid with a unique geometric design.
The faux zebra Masai ottoman and First Light mirror, (named for the large Kenyan game preserve and the beginning time for most expeditions), recall Hemingway’s many African safaris. The scagliola technique of crushed stone inlays, accented drawer framing, mahogany veneer and rosette pulls of the Torcello Bombe Chest, reflect the ambience Hemingway found on Torcello Island in the Venetian Lagoon.
The Correspondent Desk and Chair, finished with laurel burl veneers and brass corner bracket details, are similar to ones used by Hemingway the journalist. The Trophy bar, inspired by the elegant mahogany bars found in the gentlemen’s clubs of Hemingway’s day, has a leather panel front inset and brass replicas of the big five trophies – the lion, tiger, elephant, rhino and water buffalo. The bar also contains a sunken service area with a prep-counter and a storage area perfect for holding wine bottles and barware.
The Ernest Hemingway Collection Fact Sheet
-The Ernest Hemingway Collection features 90 new pieces in both case goods and upholstery. Bedroom, dining room and occasional pieces are offered with coordinating upholstered sofas, chairs and benches.
-The collection is made primarily with white ash burl, primavera, lenga, alder and cherry woods. It is available in over 20 different finishes and accented with distressed silver and antiqued brass finished hardware.
-Thomasville introduced, for the first time, the scagiolia technique in case good design as a crushed stone inlay, a fine handcrafted Italian technique.
-Thomasville designers drew inspiration from the many destination-homes Hemingway traveled to and lived during his life. Places that were most influential to Hemingway, such as Key West, Africa, Havana and Paris, were blended to produce a collection that is both worldly and intimate.
-The Hemingway line is positioned at a ‘best’ price point for the Thomasville line, given its selection of wood types, multiple finishes and hand-crafted design elements.
Thomasville is recognized worldwide as an industry leader in distinctive product styling and superb craftsmanship. With more than 150 retail stores in its growing network, Thomasville is dedicated to ensuring a truly great retail store experience where inspiring product exceeds the consumer’s needs.
Thomasville is a subsidiary of Furniture Brands International (NYSE:FBN). For more information about Thomasville, please call 1-800-225-0265 or visit www.thomasville.com. Every great room starts with an adjective. What’s yours?
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