Vintage Stanley Furniture Theme II line — 10 page catalog from the company’s archives

Maltese finish “…like that of a frosted silver blue mink.”

vintage-stanley-furniture theme II lineNext up in our continuing series of vintage 1960s Stanley Furniture catalogs scanned by the company exclusively for Retro Renovation: Here is a 10-page catalog of the “Theme II” line. This is a very decorative design — the applied swirlies make it easily recognizable (assuming there no knockoffs.)

stanley heritage theme II triple dresserAbove: In my original story about Stanley Furniture, I reported on a recent project by the company today to collect vintage examples of some of their beautiful old designs and completely refurbish them for sale at major industry trade shows. In this example, Stanley stained the Theme II dresser darker and lacquered the door and drawers. This is a popular look today.

Two stain finishes for vintage Stanley Theme II furniture

Theme II furniture was finished with pecan veneers. And the catalog describes two original stain colors available for the Stanley Furniture Theme II line. One of them — Maltese — “…like that of a frosted silver blue mink” — sounds like what we call “pickling” today. I think. Golly, I would LOVE to see that one. From the catalog:

Theme II is offered in two new and exciting colors — Maltese and Pecan. The unusual color of Maltese, like that of a frosted silver blue mink, has a feeling of freshness and the attitude of acceptance. The Pecan finish is a mellow warm brown color which brings out the richness of the Pecan veneers….”

“The attitude of acceptance”? I am feeling a “Keeping up with Joneses” vibe from this copywriter. Resist! Resist! Resist! Damned copywriters!

Vintage-Stanley-Theme-II-bedAbove: Yet… How were they supposed to describe this?

Knowledgeable readers schooled in the history of design, can you venture: Under what category are we supposed to classify this style design? This line reminds me of Broyhill Brasilia… except it (Theme II) is done with a heavier hand.

What fun! Many thanks to Stanley Furniture for providing these wonderful archival materials!

What a wonderful addition to  our archive of vintage Furniture Catalogs!

Slide show of Stanley Furniture Theme II furniture line:

Tip to use slide show: Click on any thumbnail… it will enlarge… use arrows below image to move forward or back… you can start or stop on any image.


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  1. Mary Elizabeth says

    “Attitude of acceptance”. . .hmm. Would we say today “a Zen feel?” I could definitely mediate on that first dresser while waking in the morning. What I love about it is both the interlocking knots of the center door and the play of the grain in three separate veneers on the drawer fronts. I think I would like it better in pecan, frosted blue mink being a rather creepy visual for me.

    Also like the unexpected shape of the mirror that goes with it.

  2. Roundhouse Sarah says

    The pattern is an arabesque repeated over and over. They seem to have gotten their influence from Islamic and moorish art. This art influence was widely seen all over Spain especially in their tile work. Spanish revival was really big in the late 60s into the 70s and I think that’s where this line’s design inspiration came from.

    • Jay says

      Ah yes, I think you are right. I wonder what Stanley produced in the 70s when full-bore Mediterranian style was going on.

  3. Lynne says

    Ya know….I think I may like Stanley’s make over a little better than the original.

    Some of those swirly designs got very cheap and plastic-y looking in the wood tones.

  4. Marcia says

    I agree with R.Sarah. The first thing I thought of when I saw that headboard was Mediterranean Dark – probably one of my least favorite 60s trends. (sort of a mid century Baroque)

  5. Jacki says

    I love that headboard! Those tall headboards must have been the craze back then. Does anyone remember Susan’s (Hayley Mill’s) humoungously tall white wrought iron headboard in the original Parent Trap movie. I always wanted that.

    • linda h says

      “Parent Trap” is my fave movie! And my first thought about this article was how much I love that tall headboard also.

  6. Andi says

    These pieces look like a marriage between classic Asian style and Moorish elements. To my eye, this is more “elegant” (I don’t like that word—maybe more “refined” is better?) than what I remember as Mediterranean from back in the day. Less clunky, more exotic.

    The angular Asian lines really complement the fluid arabesque elements. This is pretty cool stuff!

  7. Jay says

    Pam, you made me laugh about your line on “Attitude of Acceptance”. When I read the catalog copy I was like what the #@%$ does that mean. Looks like the 70s creeping in – pecan finish. There is 70s bedroom furniture in my house with pecan finish. No further comment.
    These catalogs are a great window back into time.

  8. Cynthia says

    Absolutely Love the high panel headboard!!! The curvilinear carving reminds me of a stylized arabesque motif, or even a simplified art nouveau. IMHO, “attitude of acceptance” is a pleasant-sounding yet essentially meaningless advertising phrase…am not getting “keeping up with Joneses” vibe myself. Love the dark stain and white lacquer update treatment too. On that subject, I have a Broyhill Emphasis bedroom set (walnut) and was thinking of having it entirely lacquered in white or slightly off-white. Anyone want to share opinions and ideas, pro or con? I seek your guidance!

    • Allen says

      My opinion is that if the wood is in good shape and has a desirable looking grain pattern then leave it alone. Lacquer finishes usually cover up cheaper woods and veneers that don’t have to have a nice looking grain due to the fact they will be covered with Lacquer.

      • Cynthia says

        Allen (and Pam, too) – thanks so much for your input. I will probably follow Allen’s suggestion and not do the lacquer. Pam’s right, it’s not a DIY project and also probably very expensive in my locale to have it done professionally. The wood still looks good after more than 50 years and needs only a few touch-ups here and there.

        • Jamie D. says

          If the wood is in good condition, I would leave it alone.

          I have a full suite of Broyhill Emphasis and if you need to touch up some spots, I’ve gotten very good results using Howard’s Restor-a-Finish in Walnut, followed by Feed-n-Wax.

          • Cynthia says

            Jamie D, thanks, and I bought some Howard’s Restor-a-Finish, which I’d previously read about on Pam’s site…thanks for the confirmation that the walnut works well on the Emphasis finish!

  9. says

    I enjoy seeing these old catalogs – they really help give a sense of what people were exposed to as being “in style.”

    Pam – I scanned a big Heritage Perennian furniture catalog a few months back, I think I dropped you an email about it, but wasn’t sure if you got it (didn’t hear back, maybe I have an incorrect email.) It’s a 40 page brochure detailing their entire 1962 Perennian mid-century line – would you want copies to post and archive here on the site?

  10. Joe Felice says

    Is this Stanley the same company that sold Stanley Home Products back in the day? Remember how-many products were sold door-to-door? Furniture with filagree on it makes me nervous when I think about trying to dust it. Same with dark-topped furniture.

  11. Nicole says

    Thank you for the resources here! I have the Stanley Theme II Chest Two-door, and am in the final steps of stripping off someone’s latex paint job over the entire piece… even the original hardware. The wood is solid pecan. They just don’t make pieces like this anymore. The swirls are fabulous and solid, yet the design is intricate and delicate. The interior is roomy, functional, and feels huge!
    It is definitely a labor of love restoration process. I even reached out to Stanley to see if they had any photos or resources but they had zero. Again, many thanks!

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