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Tommi Parzinger

“Handwerk” wallpaper design, 1930


Tommi Parzinger was a German designer who moved to New York City in the mid 1930’s. Well known for his furniture designs, Parzinger is considered an early proponent of the Hollywood Regency style. His furniture was elegant and sophisticated, marrying his traditional European design background with the modern tastes of the New York decorators and collectors of the time. After exhibiting his furniture at the 1939 NY World’s Fair, he launched his company and showroom under the name “Parzinger Originals.”

In addition to furniture, Parzinger designed ceramics, silver, lighting, packaging and wallpaper. I happened upon his pattern designs recently and was struck by their graphic simplicity and impact. I also found the range of the patterns quite remarkable – his designs for wallpaper include witty “conversational” patterns of subjects like playing cards, animals, stamps and cocktail glasses, to more delicate florals which are rather romantic, as well as more linear geometric layouts.

All of the images in this post are from the Cooper Hewitt online archives (www.cooperhewitt.org). According to their records some of Parzinger’s wallpapers were printed and sold by Katzenbach and Warren, Inc. in the late 1920’s. Included among the printed wallpapers are some pieces of original painted artwork done by Parzinger. There are also a few textile samples which are interesting to see but I have found little background information on the history of Parzinger’s foray into fabrics.




























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