In 1967 the Broyhill Premier division of Broyhill produced the Facet Collection. Less than a year later, the line was shut down. Lucky for us, we got our hands on a china cabinet from that collection. It evokes splendor, style and drama and is an exceptional piece for any home.
With strong lines, gorgeous color, and a unique design, why did Broyhill Premier decide to discontinue its Facet Collection? The answer came down to money. Production costs were deemed too high, so Broyhill eliminated the line.
Around this time Broyhill introduced 3M synthetics (plastics) into their manufacturing process. A Broyhill Premier representative, in 1968, acknowledged that economics drove the company’s decision: “It would be impossible to do the same intricate handwork in wood at an economic price today that we now can do with molded synthetics.”
This marked one of many tipping points in the death of American furniture manufacturing. The next decades would witness new materials such as plastics, particle board, and MDF (medium-density fiberboard), introduced to boost sales and turn around company losses. But the problem was more widespread. Changing trends in furniture shopping contributed to the closing of furniture factories. Wood and upholstery production shifted overseas. Like it or not, disposable furniture became “good enough” for most of our homes.
But the Mid-Century Modern Facet Collection represents one last hurrah for solid wood. Few of these pieces exist, yet somehow we found one in Jacksonville. I can’t take credit for our outstanding sleuthing abilities. We didn’t realize how rare this cabinet was when we bought it. Only through research did we discover its uniqueness.
I’d like to think this china cabinet appeared on television:
When Broyhill created a division of middle- to high-end furniture in the early ‘60s, it partnered with daytime game show ‘The Price is Right.’ Bob Barker and Rod Roddy gave away countless bedroom and dining room suites over the years.
I love the four large windows of the Facet’s glass hutch top. Not only are collectables easily accessible, but it’s almost a wall of windows. Upper lighting is powered by two separate power cords and cast a strong, warm glow on the cabinet’s contents. The hardware is original, with knobs on the upper hutch . . .
. . . and pulls on the lower two drawers.
Warm-toned walnut veneer overlays the solid hardwood of this hutch.
The lower cabinet is fitted with 2 smaller doors on either side of 2 drawers. While the drawers are mounted on steel glides, the doors present an interesting, layered design.
The entire cabinet is mounted on a solid walnut stretcher base with four tapered legs.
The original cloth label appears on the inside of the top drawer . . .
. . . and the quality inspection sticker is still on the back.
I can’t help gushing about this piece. Broyhill Premier’s Facet china cabinet deserves a place of recognition in the discerning modernist’s collection. Right now this beauty is in our booth at Avonlea Antiques and Design Gallery.
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Ann Marie and David