Kittinger Brand Basics

Kittinger Brand Basics

Kittinger is one of the oldest surviving crafters of fine built-to-order furniture in the United States.  I have heard it said that Kittinger remains like a secret club to those with enough taste and means to afford it.

Kittinger Furniture Label

HQ: Buffalo, NY since 1866, one year after peace was restored between the North and the South

Fun Fact: In 1996, a longtime Kittinger employee, Ray Bialkowski, who had started in the sanding department and worked his way up to being a Master Cabinetmaker, bought the company.  It is still open today—one of the few American fine furniture houses still in existence.

Known For:

  • A Gorgeous Shine thanks to a finishing process that can involve up to 21 steps, 50 hours of handwork, and take upwards of 3 weeks to complete.
  • Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Newport, Independence Hall, Philadelphia, and Historic Savannah Reproductions

Relatively Unknown for:

  • Extraordinary Office Furniture (Evolution Line)

Where Kittinger Furniture Resides

For over 40 years Kittinger has crafted fine furniture for the White House, Senate, Congress, Supreme Court, and foreign Heads of State.

  • Kittinger's relationship with the White House began in 1969 when President Nixon commissioned Kittinger to craft the famous Cabinet Room conference table. Fun Fact: President Nixon wrote a personal check to pay for the new cabinet room table custom made by The Kittinger Company and donated it to the White House.
  • Nixon Kittinger Cabinet Table
  • When the President is meeting with a person of importance in the Oval Office, they are almost always sitting on a pair of our Fireside Chairs.
  • The Roosevelt Room features a Kittinger conference table, our famous "Roosevelt Room" chairs
  • Kittinger also did the President’s tea tables
  • Kittinger Furniture has also been used as official gifts for foreign Heads of State and Dignitaries. The Kittinger Block Front Chest has been used as an official gift several times since the 1960's. It is a Townsend/Goddard Mahogany chest with blocked shell carvings on drawer front. Locking drawers and solid brass hardware.

Kittinger Blockfront Chest

The Colonel owns and cherishes this piece in his personal collection.

Why Vintage Kittinger Pieces are Worth Owning:

  • Quality Craftsmanship
    • Vintage Kittinger dressers sit perfectly within their cases with drawers that don’t sag, bow or stick within the frame.
    • Kittinger cabinet doors on vintage buffets align perfectly and do not bow.
    • Vintage Kittinger tables tend not to warp or split.
    • Vintage Kittinger chairs have hand tied springs and perfectly spaced upholstery tacks.

Why Vintage Kittinger Pieces are Expensive

  • Kittinger pieces are heirlooms that stay in families, so there aren’t tons of pieces available on the market. Recall each piece was made to order:  The people who originally commissioned the furniture likely agonized over open vs. closed pore finishing; 5 different options of table banding; and Garrett vs. Cortina Leather. 
  • Collectors stalk auctions that feature Kittinger pieces to expand their collection.
  • The pieces were expensive to start with: Even old Kittinger catalogs can cause sticker shock. A Colonial style dining table and chairs in the 1960’s for instance, had a retail price tag of over $1,000, unadjusted for inflation!  In the 60’s, a person could purchase a modest home for roughly ten thousand dollars.

Caring for Vintage Kittinger Furniture

  • Because the finish on Kittinger is akin to “stolen car” glossy, most pieces keep their gorgeous polish without a lot more than simple waxing.
  • If your mahogany has sat in the sun too long, it may get an orange overtone that can be corrected.
  • For major issues, Kittinger offers a full restoration service, which the Colonel has used, to bring your heirloom furniture back to its original glory
  • For goodness sakes, please use a coaster!

Show me some Kittinger Pieces!


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