Provenance and Background Info
(This set of 6 chairs sold in 2010 for $1895. These days in 2018 I’d price the exact same set at $2400-$2600.)
NOTE- this description was written in 2010. I sold another set of Rufenacht’s chairs in 2018. For further information on these chairs go to our listing-
(WRITTEN IN 2010.) A stunning set of SIX leather dining chairs by highly acclaimed South Australian furniture designer and manufacturer Joe Rufenacht. In my opinion these are up in the top 3 dining chairs I’ve sold in the 10 years I’ve been in this business. The other two sets were sold for $750 per chair- I believe these are way undervalued and are a sure furniture investment. They tick every box as far as a dining chair is concerned. JR furniture (Rufenacht’s company) closed its doors in 2006 unable to compete with cheap overseas imports any more. The 30+ year history of this Australian business has etched a permanent place in Australian furniture production history and I don’t believe it will be long before Rufenacht’s work is included in prestigious museum and art gallery collections (if they’re not already there). There was a time in the late 1970’s when Rufenacht had won more furniture design awards than anybody else in this country. Coupled with this achievement is the superior construction of his work delivering both durability and comfort. Rufenacht’s work has been long been hailed as the antiques of the future- this is a certainty in my opinion. It’s a sad sign of the times that his work can no longer survive in today’s marketplace but he has left a legacy of designs that will tell stories for generations to come (and yes his work will be passed through the generations- a symbol of the heights Australian furniture manufacture reached in its heyday.) It’s not the prestige that draws me to chairs like these. It’s the sense of inspiration this Swiss immigrant ignites- from knowing that when something is done well with passion and thought, it lives on. These items will always evade landfill and become more prized as time goes by.
Rufenacht Swiss heritage is evidenced in these chairs. They have a strong Norwegian flavour- a style I’ve always loved. It’s designer in style but has a warm earthy edge- homely but edgy at the same time. If only I had the right space for these- my apartment is too small to do them justice. The biggest drawcard is the comfort- these would easily be up there amongst the most comfortable dining chairs I’ve ever sat in.
I believe they’re a MUCH better investment than Parker dining chairs (and the best Parker dining chairs are a terrific investment!). Parker chairs are certainly around but Rufenacht ran a much smaller operation and his items were high-end- not many were sold due to the high price tag back at the time and sets of 6 dining chairs are rarer again. The best Parker dining chairs are currently fetching $450 each from experienced dealers- these chairs should fetch at least that right now and in the future I believe they’ll reach greater heights. I’ve sold several Norwegian falcon chairs in this same style for $1600+ each- the Falcon chair is a slightly bigger chair but the work involved in these dining chairs is very similar. An astute environmental and financial investment.