Friday, May 22, 2015

Drexel Touraine - How I Love Thee

I was in the right place. At the right time. I walked into a time capsule of a Brady Bunch episode at an estate sale - with orange shag carpet, avocado green lamps, and macrame hangings. All perfectly preserved. A magical force was guiding me into the master bedroom - and there she was.

Miss Drexel Touraine

In PERFECT condition!

Fortunately, no women, children or animals were harmed as I tripped over myself in my mad dash to grab the ticket off this dresser and pay for it fast. Before the furniture gods changed their minds.

So what's all the fuss about this dresser? In the sixties, Drexel (before they merged with Heritage and became Drexel Heritage) made the Touraine collection. At that time, it was the most expensive set of furniture being manufactured in the good 'ol USA.

Here's an advertisement from their collection.

I sold it as a custom order to a lovely couple and ended up refinishing all of their bedroom furniture.

It was painted (as their other pieces) in General Finishes Seagull Grey and Snow White. The original handles were refinished in silver metallic paint.

And sealed with General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Satin. A gorgeous, simple color combination for an elegant, classic dresser!

She's at home now with her big brother:

And little sisters:

I would love to get my hands on another one some day! But I can't promise I won't trip over myself to get to the tag, though!

And while we're on the Drexel subject, are there any Drexel experts out there that can identify which collection this secretary desk is from?

I've scoured the internet: Pinterest, Ebay, online antique stores, vintage advertisements from the sixties, and left messages on the corporate Drexel website and Facebook account without success.

This is my only clue from the back:

I think the numbers "3/68" are probably when it was made. I don't know what I'm going to do with it, but I'd like to have all my facts straight before I plunge head on into refinishing it. Heck, I may even keep it for myself!

Have a fantastic week!

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  1. I have one sitting in the van !!!
    This turned out SO gorgeous - those end tables are spectacular !

    1. Lucky you, Suzan! Can't wait to see what you do with it! xoxo

  2. Oh Beth! You are so lucky to get to work on a Drexel Touraine piece! And you are correct, the 3/68 means this particular piece was made in the March 1968 cutting of this group. Some of their groups ran for years, so the manufacturer marked the dates to denote which cutting it came from. The number 582 is the group number, the 632 is the number for the specific piece (ie this is a a night stand would have another stock number) and the 1 indicates the finish. In this case, it was a painted finish...but they may have also offered this group in a fruitwood finish. I'll do some snooping to see if I can find any additional info for you...but it sounds like you've already done some good research... and to no avail. ~ Robin

  3. Robin, thank you so much for taking the time to help me out! I knew one of my furniture buddies would come to my rescue! I'm going to see if I can find a piece that looks like it came from this collection - maybe in a fruitwood finish. Honestly, this has been as much fun as refinishing a piece (and as time consuming)!

  4. I have this exact same dresser! I've had it for years from my kids great grandma, and have been wanting to refinish it. I love what you have done with it! Any suggestions on techniques to use? Thanks!

  5. I have a bedroom set that I've purchased on a estate sale. I've scoured the Internet , trying to find more about it or hoping that somebody can help with some information. It seems to me that my bedroom set can be a Drexel , maybe ? To bad I can upload pictures :( wish I can find details about my gorgeous bedroom

  6. Hi MaryBeth! I don't have the secretary but I have the hutch and matching dining set. I am soooo nervous to refinish it because it's so beautiful :)
    Deb Tien

  7. Thank you for this post! I am in love with these finishes! I have a drexel touraine set and have been really trying to visualize how to refinish it. When I purchased it have been painted over to create a shabby chic look with a lovely light sage color, but I really want to get it back to something more elegant. I love grey bedding, so the white/grey/silver pieces are getting my inspiration wheels turning.

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