This bar cart was designed in the early 1980s by a new arrival at Brown Jordan, Richard Frinier. The cart was mainly offered in aluminum (you can see the one we sold in 2016 in the second slide). Here in bronze and hammered glass, it’s clearly a spiritual successor to the Lamb patio furniture we love so well. While not necessarily a household name to mid century enthusiasts, Frinier has been integral to the success and longevity of Brown Jordan. He debuted his first collection, Quantum (so named as the undertaking was a “quantum” leap forward for the unseasoned designer), in 1983 and it quickly became a tentpole of the brand, as well as a decorated favorite of architects and designers. Today, the line has been in production for 36 years, just outstripping the Lamb Collection’s run at Brown Jordan. Collection photos from his early work with the company are a visual delight — it is especially lovely to see Isamu Noguchi’s California Scenario sculpture garden make an appearance as the backdrop for the 1984 Solaron Group with its Italian lines. At the time, the almost lunar landscape was a new fixture in downtown Costa Mesa — an abstracted arrangement of the state’s constituent ecologies by a veteran of the Herman Miller heyday, concealed in a thicket of office buildings. The choice to photograph the line there both highlights Brown Jordan’s connection to the modernist legacy of Southern California, and asserts its relevance as postmodernism’s influence reached further into commercial design.
Now, who wants a cocktail out on the patio?