Gevurtz Bros, Fenton

Based on Fenton's Garden Mums blank, this 6-inch advertising piece is found in flat plates, handgrip plates (as shown), and ruffled bowls. The lettering reads "Gevurtz Bros Furniture & Clothing" with the location, "Union Ave. & East Burnside St," underneath. That would have been in downtown Portland, Oregon (see historical notes below).

Bowls, 6 ruffles

Amethyst, 600 (2021), 230, 325 (both 2022)

Bowls, round

Amethyst, 500 (2021), 675 (2022)

Handgrip plates

Amethyst, 650 (2020), 425 (2021)

Plates, flat, 6-inch

Amethyst, 675 (2021), 425, 600 (both 2022)

Updated 12/4/2022

Notes from the Oregon Historical Society

In 1881, Isaac Gevurtz moved with his family from San Francisco to Portland, Oregon, and started a small retail business selling furniture, clothing and other items. The store eventually developed into a large furniture business under the name of I. Gevurtz & Sons. By 1909 there were two stores, Gevurtz & Sons downtown and Gevurtz Brothers on East Burnside Street and Union Avenue. The company used a pelican as its trademark, and its advertising slogan, "A Little Down on a Big Bill," became a local catchphrase. Isaac's oldest son Philip took over leadership of the business, and during the decade before World War I he engaged the company in major construction and real estate activities. Gevurtz developed the Multnomah, Mallory, Philip and Carlton hotels in Portland. The company also developed apartment houses, including several in Portland's Nob Hill neighborhood. But in 1915, with Isaac in ill health, a financial crisis forced the company into bankruptcy, which caused the loss of the hotel and apartment properties. The family reorganized the business and changed its name to Gevurtz Furniture Company under the direction of Louis Gevurtz and his brother-in-law Sanford Brant.

The Gevurtz Furniture Company store was located at 2nd and Morrison streets (210 SW Morrison Street) for close to fifty years. The company also established stores in Salem and Coos Bay, Oregon. Gevurtz thrived until the early 1950s, when business shifted with the growth of the suburbs and downtown Portland began to decline.

In 1952, Louis Gevurtz's son Burton returned from service in the navy to find the company falling on hard times. The downtown area was suffering with many of the stores forced to close or relocate to the suburbs. Under the leadership of Burton, Gevurtz Furniture sold off its Coos Bay and Salem stores and in 1955 bought Hollywood Furniture at NE 33rd Avenue and Sandy Boulevard. Barrie Itkin, Burton's brother-in-law, left the downtown store to manage the Hollywood store.

Gevurtz continued to evolve as conditions in the industry changed. Burton Gevurtz gradually transformed the operation into a niche furniture store for contemporary customers. The company remodeled the downtown store in 1967 and in 1976 opened the suburban Gevurtz Contemporary Furniture showroom in Tigard, Oregon, followed by a warehouse at the same location in 1979. Ownership of the Hollywood store was transferred to the Itkin family in 1978, and the downtown store was closed and operations moved to the Tigard location during the early 1980s.

The Gevurtz Furniture Company prospered for the next two decades. When Burton announced his retirement in 1997 the company was unable to continue operating under the direction of a member of the family. In 1997, the furniture business that had been owned and operated by the Gevurtz family for more than one hundred years in the Portland area sold its property and closed its doors.