Greene & Greene Virtual Archives
Mary J. Moore Furniture
San Jose, California, 1930
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Mary J. Moore
San Jose, California

In April 1930, Mary J. Moore, wife of San Jose physician Thomas Verner Moore, asked Charles Greene to design her a simple stool after seeing one she liked in his studio. She hoped it would be done in time to present to her son, Tom, on Mother’s Day. Although she intended it to be a simple oak stool that would suit the furniture in her son’s office, Charles seized upon the flowery language in her correspondence asking him to make “something extra pretty and uncommon.” He chose to create an elaborate and expensive stool of ebony and tooled leather with inlays of semiprecious stones instead of the simple design she had commissioned. She was not pleased with the stool when it was finally finished in 1931, and the bill horrified her. Ultimately, the beautiful piece was returned to Charles Greene.