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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Kipp Stewart Sun Coast haul (Status: The good, the bad and the ugly)

Last week I won a couple of on-line estate auctions for five pieces of the rare Kipp Stewart, for Drexel, Sun Coast line of furniture.  I'll show these off over the next few posts, sadly, it is a story of good, bad and ugly.  Here is the good!
The Sun Coast line was released in 1958/1959, preceding the much better known Declaration line.  All of the pieces were made of cherry wood with gold aluminum trim, pulls and often legs.  The most striking element, though, is the gold starburst used on the sliding doors of the case goods.
The china cabinet that I picked up has the starburst on the glass sliding doors of the china hutch segment.
This is the large china cabinet (6ft long and just over 4 ft in height). It has a ton of storage space
Adjustable shelves in both compartments and tray storage in the center compartment.
As a matter of fact, you can slide out both tray dividers, remove the shelf and open up the whole center compartment... I guess, if you need to hide a small child.
You have four drawers on the right featuring a blue fabric lined silver drawer on the top.  The bottom drawer in about half an inch taller than the other drawers.
There is also a glass shelf, on the right of the of the china hutch segment, that is not adjustable.
Of all five pieces I won, this cabinet is in the best shape but it has a few blemishes.

The gold, on the aluminum pulls, has not done well over the years.  
 This segment of the glass sliding door track has the same problem, probably the result of being polished with the wrong products coupled with wear and neglect; I don't know what I can do about that (any suggestions...) 
The top of the hutch has some wear, nicks and scuffs, but nothing too egregious.
There is this one ring on the buffet cabinet top.
There is a narrow chip and a few scuffs on the left side
and some gunk in the bottom of the left compartment of the buffet.
I'm curious if any of you readers who have stores or sales spaces would have passed on this due to the aluminum issues?


  1. Great looking piece! I wouldn't be too bothered by the worn plating as long as the rest of the piece is on such good shape. I'm sure all these pieces have the same "patina" unless someone never touched them!

  2. Fine steel wool and glass cleaner will probably take off the rest of the gold finish. If that is what you want. I have also lifted finishes by soaking parts in hot water first.

    That seems to be a problem with gold/brass plated finishes. They did not hold up well.

    I'm also fine with the patina. They are what they are and reflect time.

    It's a lovely piece of furniture. Good find.

    1. I'd like to figure out how to restore the gold.

  3. Hi,
    If you find out how to clean them without losing any more of the gold finish, please post it.

    I wish mine had the atomic glass doors that makes it!