A Mad for Mid-Century reader recently asked:
We just started collecting Sculptra furniture and currently have 8 different pieces. I've noticed a factory marking on the back which seems to identify the design, with additional info that perhaps identifies the location and date of manufacture?I've talked to Broyhill a few times about the manufacturing numbers on the back of the Sculptra line, and I've heard a few times that they themselves don't know what the numbers mean. A definitive answer might be lost to history, but we can get a pretty good educated guess.
For example, the base of our buffet is marked
L 587 62
6095/10 is the Broyhill "part number" for this piece. If I had to guess, I would imagine that the L designates Lenoir House, and that the 62 means the piece was made in 1962. Does that sound right? Also, what do you think the 587 means?
The first set of numbers is the style number for the piece, this matches on both the Broyhill Sculptra brochure and sales sheet. 6095-10 is the Sculptra buffet with 3 drawers and 1 shelf, where as 6095-11 is the buffet with 3 drawers and 2 shelves. These would have been the numbers that people and stores used to buy Sculptra furniture.
There may also be something to the slash versus the dash. My Broyhill Sculptra desk has 910-25, but no L. The first set of numbers always means the same thing, the style of the piece, but the separator might tell us something more. I'm not sure what though.
The second set of numbers is where the guessing comes in. L for Lenoir House makes some sense knowing the history of Broyhill. Although, Sculptra was a Broyhill Premier line, and Lenoir House usually indicated their moderate lines. My desk doesn't have any letter in the manufacturer numbers. Made in the Lenoir House factory or not, is probably the best guess for this piece of the numbers.
The middle piece of those numbers might be the cutting number. I can't find a true definition for a furniture cutting number, but from what I can tell it's a collection of pieces all made at or around the same time and place, maybe even from the same shipment of wood. Most of the middle numbers I've seen fall close to the one cutting number I've seen on original Broyhill Scultpra packaging.
The last number being the year the piece was made makes sense. I haven't seen a piece with that number outside of the range of the manufacturing dates of the Sculptra line.
My guess is the second set of numbers is essentially a serial number for the piece. If Broyhill ever needed to do a recall, they could limit it to a specific manufacturing location, cut number and year. But, that is just an educated guess.