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Tommi Parzinger

Tommi Parzinger was a German-born furniture designer who emigrated to the United States in 1932 to escape life under the Nazi regime. After settling in New York City, he began creating designs for tastemakers and manufacturers of the era, including Rena Rosenthal and Charak Modern. Parzinger was a Modernist who favored clean lines in his designs while embracing luxurious materials. His early work included hand-hammered silverware in simple forms with excellent craftsmanship. His works, including decorative urns, salt and pepper shakers and clocks, were featured in Life magazine in 1939, a year in which he was also exhibiting his furniture at the World's Fair. Parzinger later parlayed his skill into brass and crystal for lamps and decorative accessories. As he turned his attention to furniture, Parzinger embellished the pure functionality of modernism with brightly colored lacquer, detailed inlays, fluted carvings and unique hardware. The New York elite delighted in his work, and he was soon also catering to Hollywood clients like Marilyn Monroe. The Parzinger Originals studio produced a wide range of handcrafted custom designs, including wall sconces, tea sets, coffee and end tables, cabinets, sofas, accent chairs and chests of drawers. In his final years, Parzinger focused largely on Expressionist painting, creating a large collection of original canvases that are still exhibited today.