Rancho Monterey

Rancho Monterey
Rancho Monterey Furniture and Monterey Style Items:

Rancho Monterey furniture or also known as Monterey style furniture was created by Mason Manufacturing Company of Los Angeles in 1929 and marketed by Barker Brothers. The style was rustic, which fit the character of the Spanish Revival Architecture and Rancho style homes. The Monterey line was initiated by an interior decorator, who saw a piece in a movie set and believed that there was a need for a furniture line that accompanied the Spanish or Mission Style homes being built in the area.

Frank and George Mason made the initial design sketches. In late 1929 they started the Monterey furniture line. Twenty four designs were part of the initial run, and this expanded to about 120 different pieces within four years. There were at least three different bedroom sets, six dining room sets, sixteen different upholstery pieces, sixteen end tables, occasional and coffee tables, and four different desks and secretaries. The lumber was chiefly alder from Oregon that was run through multiple drum sanders to ease the edges and provide an antique or rustic look. The pieces were glued and laminated with a hot glue, and then finished or upholstered. The finishes were all oil stained or base-stained with asphaltum and antiqued by paraffin and rotten stone. Many pieces were hand painted after the antiquing and staining process with different colors or floral patterns. Wrought iron straps and pulls provided accent to the pieces, in addition to basic notching that provided some variation. Many of the earlier pieces were marked by a horseshoe brand, visible at the underside of the piece or on the back.

The line was produced until 1943, when Frank Mason (Georges father) died. His partner in the business was not active in the manufacturing process, and handled the shipping and purchasing concerns. The plant was sold to another company in 1945. It not known if the Monterey Furniture line continued.

Today, the surviving examples are passionately sought after by many serious collectors.