$265.00

LOCATION- Morayfield, NORTH BRISBANE. $265 is PER CHAIR- for ONE unlabelled vintage original. Sold as multiples of 2 only. For all BUYING enquiries call us on the phone number in the CONTACT section. For SELLING enquiries, SMS us only please using the instructions in our CONTACT section.

 

Out of stock

Description

Price is PER CHAIR, for ONE unlabelled vintage original. Sold as multiples of 2 only. Dam it! I originally put the price wrong- $265 EACH- argghhh!

This is the first time I’ve ever seen 10 original Snelling chairs by Functional Products as one group. Super RARE! ALL are vintage originals from the 1950’s. We would be prepared to break up this set. If you want all TEN, come forward quickly BEFORE we consider breaking up the set.

These chairs are located at our Morayfield depot, North Brisbane but delivery can be arranged to anywhere in Australia. For all 10 of these chairs to travel to Sydney it’d be ABOUT $320.    

Provenance and Background Info

(Written in 2022)

The Douglas Snelling webbed chair is a design icon- chairs like this have been a favourite since the early 1950’s (over 70 years now- 2022). Designed after World War II, by Australian designer Douglas Snelling, the webbed chair was conceived to make use of the abundance of parachutes leftover after the war. The Great Depression forced people to become very resourceful- due to the economic collapse after WWII people re-used everything. These chairs are a great reminder of the mindset that the Great Depression prompted (this suite has huge historical significance and an interesting back-story).

This is the only set of TEN of these chairs I’ve ever come across in 20 years of trading. Sets of 6 come up very occasionally- I don’t think I’ve ever seen even 8 Snelling chairs as a group. If you want more than 6 this is a very rare opportunity. I’ve had these for some time agonising over whether I should get them re-webbed or not. I’ve finally decided not to have them re-done. In the end I couldn’t decide on colour/s! I initially decided on doing all 10 in the beige / off-white colour (the standard “colour” this webbing comes in today). Then I decided I’d like to do all ten in the eucalyptus colour that 2 of these chairs are currently in- I like the faded red as well- freshly dyed red straps are too bold for my liking. It puts all the focus on the straps and away from the elegant shape.

The shape and style of the iconic Snelling webbed dining chair certainly grows on you over time. Various design elements of the era are showcased, there’s the graceful curve in the profile contrasted with the jagged angles of the splayed chair legs, giving them this distinct 1950’s look. (I love 1950’s stuff- very cool stylistically- fun but also elegant. I also prefer the lighter timber tones as well that were used in the 50’s).

These vintage Snelling chairs are an ideal example of investment furniture- Snelling pieces have been a perennial favourite and more recently I’ve noticed sets of 6 vintage originals being snapped up very quickly for increasing prices. This set should continue to increase in value into the future. Sets of 6 Parker chairs from the early-1960’s are getting $700 EACH these days. Today in 2022, this set re-webbed would fetch similar in the upmarket vintage shops in Melbourne and Sydney. Five of these chairs have Snelling labels / stamps which guarantees the investment appeal here- Snelling chairs have enjoyed a prominent spot in Australian furniture history. Jens Risom did webbed chairs overseas first but Snelling’s design is MUCH nicer- Snelling’s design is more fluid and pleasing to the eye- Risom’s is boxier.

These chairs are a true, dinky-di VINTAGE suite and will become more collectable in coming years- soon the only place you’ll come across a suite like this in fully original condition is in a museum. Why buy furniture when you can invest in it? Plus by investing in vintage items you’re reducing landfill, your carbon footprint AND you’re supporting local small businesses.

AN EXTRA HISTORICAL NOTE ABOUT SNELLING CHAIRS FOR THOSE INTERESTED

Some of the faded red chairs in this suite have TWO identifying marks on them- the original decal label with FUNCTIONAL PRODUCTS (Snelling’s brand from the 1950’s) PLUS the 474 design number ink stamp AND the S1 furniture standards stamp from the 1950’s. I remember a very toxic exchange with some guy about 12 years ago who swore to me that if Snelling chairs don’t have the decal label they are certainly not Snelling pieces. This is simply not true and to be blunt a stupid thing to even proposition (if you have any experience with Snelling’s furniture). I tried to tell him there was a additional mark Snelling used (the ink stamps shown on this set)- but he seemed intent on attacking me only. Unfortunately 12 years ago I had less “emotional intelligence” than I have today and kept up my “exhausting” defence. (I was as stupid as him for not just ignoring him!) There are a few Instagram users these days who are just as toxic- @modernaust is one example- simply ignore them and tell them to go away if they seem intent on attacking you. (They are the equivalent of schoolyard bullies.)

The chairs here that have BOTH the Functional Products decal and the other ink stamps PROVE UNDISPUTEDLY that Snelling used two marks. The other thing it proves is that these stamps have become very feint after 70 years so they can be easy to miss. After 20 years coming across these chairs I know now that about 60 or 70% of Snelling vintage chairs have NO marks at all. The Functional Products factory often labelled 2 or 3 chairs per set PLUS some labels have simply come off over the years (I sometimes see the sticky residue only where the label would have been).

The other interesting thing about this set is that it proves that Snelling chairs were done with 2 different types of straps- the plastic type webs (that are very hard to find these days) and these canvas straps. The plastic parachute straps leftover from the war obviously ran out after about 4 or 5 years of production but the design was still as popular as ever so the Snelling factory obviously sourced different straps and kept them in production. If you want to get more detective-like, you’ll notice a date stamp contained within the 474 design number stamp. It reads 26 JULY 1955 or 1956- this verifies all of the above. None of the above can be called hearsay.

If you want to get even more “scientific”, look more closely. There is one green and yellow chair with one broken strap. The underside photos prove without a shadow of a doubt that these were the original straps from the time they were first made. These are NOT replacement straps (after 70 years most Snelling chairs have replacement straps on them these days).

This set has an interesting story- if you decide to invest in them and re-web them (they are moving into that domain now) this listing will stay online forever. Keep your iNVISeDGE invoice as well as it will prove in the future you purchased this set.

Read the Condition and Dimensions paragraph as it has more information about the condition and suggestions about how this set could be restored, improved or renovated.

2205, 1906, ad 1910 and 2102

These chairs are in very good condition (I suppose excellent really if you consider that they are about 70 years old). The webbing is looking tired which is to be expected. (Virtually all vintage Snelling chairs have been re-webbed by now). Re-webbing is very easy for a professional and will cost $110 - $160 per chair (cost is an estimate based on a set we had re-webbed about 10 years ago). The frames overall are in excellent condition. The timber presents very well overall for a set of this age. All chairs are structurally solid and sturdy with no structural issues AT ALL. They have NO cracks around joint areas, NO noticeable movement in the legs or any joint, NO wobbles, they are NOT rickety. ONE yellow chair has been professionally repaired. This chair is now stronger than it ever was. This professional has very cleverly reinforced this joint area. These are well-built chairs but heavy people should not swing back on two legs (no-one should be doing this on any timber chair really). This chair blends in with the set, so much so that I forgot to photograph the repair. I will pull this chair out next time I'm at Morayfield and photograph this repair. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This suite are ready for re-webbing however they currently don't look "awful" (my opinion). I like the vintage character and under a table they look great. When you look closer, as the photos show, they show their age. One strap is broken at one connection point and the one strap has been removed altogether (look at all our photos). All chairs can obviously be used as they are and I'd argue you'd get another 70 years of use out of them. If you don't like current look there are various ways around. Some of my suggestions which you may not consider but are worth contemplating (if you want them to continue looking vintage). Two "pink ones" look good as they are. Two yellow could be professionally cleaned and I think they'd look really good as they. I love the eucalyptus colour. Get these 2 chairs re-webbed after dyeing the straps to match this colour as closely as you can. I think this colour is very cool- it is obviously "original" but faded. This faded colour is neutral but vintage. I'd get another 2 chairs done with light blue dyed straps. These were done in blue back in the day (I'd personally dye them "faded blue"). For the last two maybe just do un-dyed straps (beige). They were originally done like this as well. If you can't stand this "hodge-podge" idea- I think in the faded colours it's not over-the-top at all re-web them all. Five have identifying labels so they will retain their value REGARDLESS of what you do with them. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Measurements. Read my 1200+ ebay feedback comments (ALL for furniture and decorative arts SALES) to be assured that the lounges are described as accurately as possible and that I will not purchase items of inferior quality or with significant cosmetic flaws.
Click on "About iNVISeDGE" at the top of this page to find out more about iNVISeDGE.