Most underwhelming attribution to Don S. Shoemaker – part 6

Is this a joke or what? I just received this picture on a deckchair listed for auction which you can tell immediately it is not part of the Don S. Shoemaker catalog.

  • An attributed Don S. Shoemaker “deckchair”. This particular chair is made in a tropical wood called “katalox”, sometimes also known as  “Mexican Ebony”, a wood very estimated in the Yucatan Peninsula by the producers of outdoor furniture and flooring of that area. Very unfamiliar to a Don S. Shoemaker piece of furniture. Sometimes I do ask myself, how is it possible that these kind of furniture pieces make it to a serious auction house and they accept to list them as originals.
    • Is it the magical thought of believe that it could be a “Don S. Shoemaker”?
    • Are they too lazy to research?
    • They have a blind trust on the seller?
    • They do not have specialists?
    • Or they do not care?
  • I wonder what happens when you try to sell a brand new chinese 2009 WASSILY CHAIR  for an authentic Marcel Breuer WASSILY CLUB CHAIR “B3” by Standard Möbel or Thonet Möbel 1928?

But I still have not found the answer….

© Karin Goyer and Don S. Shoemaker Furniture, 2010-2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Karin Goyer and Don S. Shoemaker Furniture with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. Dear Ms. Goyer: Thanks a lot for all your advises. As you early mentioned, it is not possible the lack of experience and compromise from the auction houses in Mexico to not declare or not document what they are selling in their auctions. I am a huge fan of Breuer and Charlotte Perriand and it is not possible that they can sell really cheap copies as new and original ones with no authentication papers.

    It is not bad to sell, but if they want to reach those prices as in USA or Europe at least they should catalog and document better the pieces, there is a pair of Barcelona chairs that were auctioned one year ago and they labeled one as a copy and the other as an original with part number of …. that should be the way to protect their customers interests. If you look for other serious auction houses even not the big ones, they always try to document the origin of the piece, not just check if the piece looks like others in a furniture book.

    If you request my help to stop this cheap and lack of class mercenary attempts to the mid century design, please let me know.


    • Javier, thank you very much for your interest. As far as Don S. Shoemaker furniture pieces are concerned, there are independent auction houses like Wright in Chicago, which for their upcoming Modern Design Auction scheduled for October 12, 2010 are listing some Don S. Shoemaker lots that are all originals and are a true example of an honest auction house. Something to underline is that all the pieces carry the studio label creating the atmosphere of confidence that you are looking for.


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