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The name Ernest Hemingway conjures up images of wars, African safaris, bullfighting, deep-sea fishing -- and now home furnishings. At least that's what Thomasville Furniture is hoping as it unveils new TV advertising this week.

The star of the commercials, along with b&w images of the adventuresome author, is the Thomasville Hemingway Collection.

Spending for the campaign, via Long Haymes Carr, Winston-Salem, N.C., is estimated at more than $7 million. Print ads broke in July issues of magazines; co-op newspaper ads from independently owned Thomasville Home Furnishings stores and dealers support.

In stores since March, the furniture line appears to have been well-received so far. Thomasville estimates it will rack up about $50 million in sales from the collection this year, based on the first seven months.

While the connection between the impassioned author and furniture may not seem obvious, Thomasville tied Mr. Hemingway's travels to the design of the pieces.


"He was a craftsman in his own trade, writing. And while we are furniture craftsmen, you can easily see how his life is the inspiration for beautiful furniture," said Lisa Clark, Thomasville general manager, director of brand development.

It was important for the advertising not only to include Mr. Hemingway, but also the thinking that went into creating the furniture, said Mylene Pollock, exec VP-chief creative officer at Long Haymes Carr.

"As bold and adventurous as he was, so, too, is every piece of furniture," says TV voice-over.

Mr. Hemingway's family was involved in the ad campaign, lending photos and film and approving the work.

The campaign and furniture line debuted fortuitously at a renewed time of interest in the well-traveled writer. A posthumously published book, "True at First Light," has stirred national interest and debate.

July marked the anniversary of what would have been Mr. Hemingway's 100th birthday.that debuted late last year

On sale now are the first four collections -- Havana, Key West, Kenya and Ketchum, Idaho. Thomasville furniture designers just returned from Barcelona and Paris with ideas and sketches for collections due next year.

Dubbed a "fictional memoir," it's woven from Mr. Hemingway's untitled and

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