Ken and Isa Mishuku can’t help but beam with pride as they show their furniture warehouse and workshop in Laguna. Still undergoing renovation, the couple excitedly talks about how they envision putting in their midcentury tables, chairs, cabinets, lamps, etc. that continue to grow in number the way their followers have grown exponentially. Along the way, their distinct yet discerning individual tastes have found balance and today, their Midcentury Manila brand has become the go-to place for vintage showcase pieces that can liven up any home or office.
Here are their top 20 picks from their over 100 lots that will be auctioned online at www.leonexchange.com on July 18, 2021, starting at 11 a.m.
Kicking off the list is the CH07 Shell Chair (H: 29”, W: 36”, D: 32.6”). Originally designed in 1963 by Danish modernist icon Hans J. Wegner and made by Carl Hansen & Son, this chair is painted in glossy cream and red and has a convex 14-inch seat.
Crafted by Japanese Modernist Isamu Kenmochi for Tendo Mokko, a Japanese furniture maker specializing in fine furniture, the Rosewood Coffee Table (H: 13.5”, L: 52”, D: 36”) has an earthen tone furnish with curved foundations.
Next in the couple’s top picks is the Tounge Chair (H: 25”, W: 35”, D: 39”) designed in 1967 by French furniture and interior designer Pierre Paulin for Artifort. This chair came to fruition in the 60s at a time when the sexual revolution had already gained its foothold and conversation pits and low-slung furniture encouraged people to explore new ways to use floor spaces.
The Nomos Table (H: 28.5”, L: 79”, D: 31.5”) is a vintage 8-seater table made by Norman Foster for Tecno Italy in the 1980s. The frame of the Nomos is similarly designed to a zoomorphic skeleton, with its glass top and metal base in excellent condition.
The Chesterfield Sofa (H: 28”, L: 94”, D: 33”) takes the fifth spot. This sofa was meticulously handmade in England and fashioned in vintage oxblood leather. With a seat measuring 17.5”, this makes it a comfortable couch for four people to sit in.
Bauhaus icon Marcel Breuer’s B3 Armchair (H: 28”, W: 29”, D: 26”), more famously known as the Wassily Chair, was originally designed in the 1920s and is an early model produced by Gavina, an Italian furniture production company. This vintage chair has leather arm slings and a 16-inch seat.
Designed in 1966 by American architect and interior designer Warren Platner for Knoll International, the Platner Coffee Table (H: 15”, D: 42”) still has its original glass top with a beveled edge. This is the version in bronze finish.
A rare gem from the 90s, the Happy Hour Sofa (H: 34”, L: 101”, D: 30”) is a vintage postmodern 3-seater couch designed by Adreas Storiko for B&B Italia. It is made of genuine leather and has an aluminum base with individually reclining sections.
A vintage fiberglass Pastil Rocking Lounge Chair (H: 53 cm, W: 92 cm, Depth: 92 cm) from the Space Age bears resemblance to a giant Skittles candy. It was designed by Finnish interior designer Eero Aarnio for Asko in 1968 for the purpose of fitting it into the empty cushioned space of his iconic ball chair.
Clocking in at the halfway spot is the GPlan Fresco Floating Desk (H: 28”, W: 66”, D: 18”) developed by British furniture designer Victor Wilkins for GPlan, UK in the 1960s. This table boasts an iconic mid-century modern shape and pull handles, as well as a teak wood desk with a floating top.
Designed in 1956, the PK22 Lounge Chair (H: 28”, W: 24.8”, D: 24.8”) embodies Danish designer Poul Kjaerholm’s discrete and exquisite approach to design, as well as his penchant for clean lines and natural materials. Created in 1956, this piece possesses a 13.8-inch seat and is characterized by a simple and stripped-down aesthetic.
Another Danish creation is Poul Henningsen’s PH80 Floor Lamp (H: 131.5 cm, Shade Diameter: 55 cm) made for Louis Polsen Denmark in the 1920s. This is an innovative 3-shaded system lamp with opal white shades and a metal base.
A massive, 3-meter long vintage German-made sideboard, the Rio Palisander Rosewood Credenza (H: 30.5”, L: 118.5”, D: 18”) features a beautiful, fiery-grained Brazilian rosewood body and a metal base.
Danish designer Ib Kofod Larsen’s Reclining Lounge Chair (H: 29”, W: 27”, Seat: 16”) takes comfort to a next level with its richly grained teak frame, a sculptural armchair, and angled armrests, back, and legs that reclines in four different positions.
The Sculpta “Star Trek” Chairs” (H: 38” W: 21.5”, D: 18”, Seat: 19”) is a set of four tufted black vinyl and aluminum chairs called designed in the 1960s by American mid-century modern and contemporary furniture designer Vladimir Kagan for Chromecraft. These are also known as the “Star Trek chairs” due to their appearance on set in the episodes “Spocks Brain” and “The Trouble with Tribbles” of the original Star Trek series.
An addition to Ib Kofod’s featured crafts in the upcoming León 20 is his Teak Wood 2-Seater Settee (H: 28.5” L: 52” D: 28.5”, Seat: 15”) designed for Selig, Denmark in the 1960s. This iconic sofa features sculptural armrests and a stunning slatted backrest.
An iconic and comfortable nest-like sofa, the Ploum Sofa and Ottoman (Sofa – H: 28”, L: 80” D: 42”, Seat: 16”; Ottoman – H:15”, L: 30”, D: 19”) has a slightly closed angle suitable for encouraging those who sit on it to move closer to one another, helping cultivate an atmosphere of intimate conversations. It was designed by brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for the high-end French designer furniture brand Ligne Roset.
PH43 Goldhøg Foot Stool (H: 15”, W: 18.5”, D: 13”) was Poul Hundevard’s showpiece for Vamdrup Stølefabrik in the late 1950s. Gold Hill stool design was remade by Hundevad after a similar, well-preserved Bronze Age archaeological artifact that was excavated in a burial site near Vamdrup, Denmark in 1891. His features a sumptuously sculpted wooden folding frame and a leather sling.
Paul McCobb’s Planner Group Dresser (H: 42”, W: 36”, D: 18.5”) is a classic 4-drawer dresser made of maple wood designed by the iconic American mid-century modern designer in the 1950s as part of his well-known Planner Group Collection for Winchendon Furniture. Its original brass pulls are still in good, vintage condition.
Topping off the Midcentury Manila highlights is the Expendable Teak Dining Table (H:28.5”, L: 67”, D: 35” [not extended]). Danish designers are definitely powerhouses when it comes to midcentury modern designs as exemplified by this piece designed by Niels Møller for JL Møllers. It has a hidden, extending section that doubles as an added dining space or as a serving area.
Clearly, there is no slowing down Midcentury Manila as it has now become a design must-have all. Ken and Isa Mishuku’s keen interest in vintage and retro plus their tireless dedication and the strong, effective partnership with León Gallery have allowed them to take their vision to the next level.
Be part of the midcentury design movement and decorate your spaces with the various lots that will go under the hammer on July 18, 2021 at the 20th edition of León Exchange. All bidding will be online at www.leonexchange.com. For more information, visit Instagram @midcenturymanila and @leongallerymakati.