A Reverse-Kondo: An Office Furnishings Fantasy

I love vintage office furniture and supplies. The other day, I thought, what if I were to do a reverse-Kondo? What would really give me joy would be to acquire a whole new office set-up. In this fantasy, I started to imagine pencils and staplers and tape dispensers and fountain pen holders to sit on my grey, early 1960s Steelcase desk. The hardest choice was the typewriter. I love them and could easily have picked a Remington No. 2 (circa 1920s; I have one on display under my glass-topped coffee table); or a Royal Quiet Deluxe (1940s; a favorite of Hemingway); or an Olivetti Lettera 22 (1950s) or a Smith-Corona Sterling (1950s). But I chose a Swiss-made, seafoam green Hermes 3000 portable. For one thing, I have a seafoam green Hermes Baby under my coffee table (created by Italian designer Giuseppe Presioso, the small-but-beautiful lines of the Baby changed typewriter design forever; favored by traveling journalists, it was the iPad of the 1940s & ’50s). But for an office, a Hermes 3000 is a better choice. It’s widely considered to be among the finest portable typewriters ever made. When Pulitzer-prize winning author Larry McMurtry accepted a Golden Globe for the screenplay of his novel, Broke Back Mountain, he said: “Most heartfelt, I thank my typewriter.  My typewriter is a Hermes 3000, surely one of the noblest instruments of European genius.” Who could say it better?

1959 Hermes 3000

A classic: 1959 Hermes 3000.













Art Deco double pen holder. (Base B&W check marble. Holders bakelite-brass.)

Stylish, circa 1920s Art Deco double pen holder. The base is black & white checked marble; the two pen holders are brass and Bakelite. Would just needs pens to go in them.








Art-Deco Bakelite Desk Lamp

An Art Deco Bakelite desk lamp, circa 1940.






Park Sherman mid-C Perpetual Calendar Gold Tone Metal & Brass

A brass Park Sherman perpetual calendar, circa mid-1930s.



























The Palomino Blackwing with its distinctive flat, gold-colored ferrule and flat eraser. The Blackwing motto is, “Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed.”











Giant pencil Sharpener (Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co.)

I already own a Giant pencil sharpener (made by Automatic Pencil Sharpener Co.) so no need to acquire this item.


Compo Stapler (Compo Manufact Co) mid-'20s

The Compo Stapler, manufactured by the Compo Manufacturing Co. in Westport Conn, was invented by a designer named Richard J. Holt-Hausen. It takes No. 1 staples & is also supposed to be able to unbend staples. The company’s catchy motto for this lovely piece: “It Never Foils In the Clinches.” It’s from the 1920s and will probably last to the end of this century and beyond.

Cast iron Scotch Tape Dispenser whale-shaped '40s

Whale-shaped, cast-iron Scotch Tape dispenser. Circa 1940 by Minnesota Mining Mfg.