The owner of these chairs wanted a quick sale and we SOLD this set under consignment for $1595 in 2018 for all 6 chairs within 2 weeks of being listed on the website.
Provenance and Background Info
Written in 2018
A stunning set of 6 (SIX) leather dining chairs by highly-acclaimed South Australian furniture designer and manufacturer Joe Rufenacht. These are some of the best dining chairs I’ve sold in the last 17 years. I think Rufenacht’s work is way undervalued- this is premium LEATHER and a premium build. These chairs sold for $3800 back in the early 1990’s. This is one of Rufenacht’s later designs- most of his earlier work was based on the Norwegian Falcon chair- this design is distinctly his own- I’ve never seen anything like it. I think it’s at least as good as his earlier designs- look at these sweeping curves! These have a feminine flow but the other design elements are masculine and bold which gives them an intriguing look- they have a mid-century look but would also look amazing in a modernist space on polished concrete floors. The timber would add an earthy slant to a modern space and the curves would prevent your space from becoming too clinical and sterile looking.
There was a time in the late 1970’s when Rufenacht had won more furniture design awards than anybody in Australia- an interesting fact when you consider that 10 years ago most furniture connoisseurs had never even heard of his work. This is because Rufenacht’s work is hard to find- it wasn’t cheap back in its day so there’s little of it around… But still people are going gaga over Parker. Rufenacht furniture is much better built- the quality outshines Parker and the investment appeal so much stronger. Rufenacht’s work has room to move upwards- it has increased in value in the last few years and I see no reason why this trend won’t continue over the next decade.
Unfortunately, after 30 years in business Rufenacht could no longer compete with cheap Chinese imports and in 2006 this iconic Australian furniture brand ceased to exist. Rufenacht’s furniture is only going to get harder to get in upcoming years as more people discover the quality, stunning styling, timeless appeal and COMFORT of his designs. Rufenacht was fussy and yes, the comfort was never compromised- this is one of the most comfortable dining chairs I’ve ever sat in! Pure luxury.
After many modern pieces end up as landfill these 25-year-old chairs will be passed onto another owner and then an entirely new generation. It was said on the ABC in 2006 that Rufenacht’s furniture will be the antiques of tomorrow and after being in this business for 17 years I agree- look at the condition of these chairs after all these years! (The previous owners gave me a Warranty Card with these chairs and it had the year of purchase on it (1992).
Chairs like this are the reason I do this job. They are an inspiration and should show us all the way forward. Most modern furniture is made with little respect for the earth’s resources and even less for the workers who make them (they’re basically slaves). If these chairs were made today in Australia I would still promote them but the fact they’re no longer made makes them an even stronger investment. There’s no better way to invest in your home and reduce your carbon footprint.