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This pair of chairs sold to KRISTY for $550 for 2 chairs in 2018 from Pascoe Vale in Melbourne.
Provenance and Background Info
An Arper Catifa 46 office chair with a 5-star swivel base and castors. (We have TWO chairs available- price listed is for ONE CHAIR only.) This design was done by Lievore Altherr Molina in 2004 for Arper, Italy. Arper chairs are sold alongside the big brands coming out of Europe such as B & B Italia, Eames, Poliform and Cassina. These chairs come in various varieties- with many different bases including sled bases- some have fixed bases and others are on self-braking castors. Some have just the shiny polypropylene seat shells and others have cushioning and upholstery. Many upholstery varieties are used by Arper and some even have a classy stitching detail (like these). There are even various base types including polished aluminum and powder-coated and with or without armrests. The chairs on offer here are the most expensive out of all that are available. If you Google, “Design Public Catifa 46 – 5-Star Swivel Base – Upholstered” you’ll start to see all the varieties available if you play a little (this website also gives all price points). In Australia, these chairs are sold by Stylecraft but they don’t give prices- just generalized prices for the cheapest item in each category (no upholstery, no castors, sled bases etc ect). I don’t think Stylecraft are selling these for the same prices as Design Public (an American business) but I estimate these chairs with all the additional extras retail at around AU $1000 PER CHAIR. (In America they’re selling for well over $2000 PER CHAIR!)
I believe the pair on offer here have polished aluminum bases and are upholstered in ELMOSOFT which is a soft and pliable Semi-Aniline LEATHER. I didn’t order the chairs so I can only go by research (what Arper use) and my own experience in this business of 18 years. (I believe they’re a special order as well and not what’s in standard stock in Australia.) The upholstery feels and smells like leather to me- it’s a beautiful quality covering. (If it is semi-aniline leather the upholstery will need to be nourished with a leather conditioner a few times a year to prevent it from drying out (this is a quick, easy job and will protect your investment for the long-haul). The bases look like polished aluminum to me- I’d be very surprised if they’re chrome. These chairs have some age to them (they came out of a corporate office where they’d been used for some time (I was told 7 years). There’s NO pitting to the bases at all which would be highly unusual if the bases are chrome- polished aluminum bases are the most expensive option and never corrode. I bought these as a set of 6- they were all in exceptional condition. Four of them sold before they even came into our Melbourne depot! ($1200 for 4 which is exceptional buying- I’d say that’s about one third the RRP.)
These are on par with the Eames aluminum group chairs by Herman Miller (they’re even more expensive new than many Eames chairs). I like them at least as much as Eames aluminum-group chairs. The quality is exceptional (they’re quite heavy)- the workmanship is meticulous and the materials, A1.
These chairs are bound to be passed from this generation to the next- look at them after about 7 years of use! Investing in items that were built to last is our only way out of this mess and the best way to respect our earth and its resources. There are very few better ways to invest in your home or office and reduce landfill.