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Sold to Michelle in December 2020 for $1095. SOLD!
NOTE- The set of 6 chairs on offer in this listing are in a eucalyptus-coloured velvet. (This is very likely the original covering). The chairs shown in red SOLD through iNVISeDGE way back in 2006 and are included to show you one re-upholstery idea. The 2 photos showing the yellow tone gives you another idea. There are lots of options with this design- a soft apple-green (brighter green than what they currently are) would be a fun option and would also tie in well with the era (and is not as bold as red).
The set of 6 chairs in a eucalyptus-coloured velvet are FOR SALE from our North Brisbane depot in Morayfield.
Provenance and Background Info
A set of SIX (6) Chiswell dining chairs from the 1950’s. I personally love 50’s furniture a lot more than Danish modern design. The lighter-coloured timber frames are much easier to work in with any interior. With the right upholstery- for example cream or a textile weave in slate-grey, these chairs would even work well in a minimalist interior particularly on light floors. The thing I like most about them is that whilst they’re minimalist in style, they’re not boring in looks at all. The fluid line of the seat and the warm honey-tone of the timber gives them an organic slant- the angular legs adds interest and a fun creative spark.
The best part of investing in this design is knowing the quality you’ll be getting. These were crafted in AUSTRALIA by Chiswell in the early-1950’s. The quality of Chiswell Furniture is exceptional (much better than the early Parker stuff). Every chair is very solid and sturdy. Despite being in use for well over 60 years old this set is ready for another generation of use- the construction quality is some of the best you’ll ever find.
This is Chiswell’s best dining chair design from an aesthetic point of view (and easily in my eyes). It’s based on the webbed chair that was released in Australia by Douglas Snelling in the early 1950’s. The fascinating thing is I believe this design came before Snelling’s upholstered version. The seats here have metal springs done in the same way dining chairs were done in the 1940’s- this construction technique was phased out by the mid-1950’s. To my knowledge Snelling released their upholstered version later in the 1950’s after the success of their webbed version.
I actually like these more than the webbed variety. The webbing can take a lot of attention away from the frames and I think it’s the shape of the frame that makes the design such a hit.
Aside from the aesthetics and durability these chairs are comfortable. They hold you in a good seating position for dining. My only criticism is that you can feel the springs in some chair seats (certainly not all though and it’s not very pronounced either). This is just an age thing and could be easily rectified when the chairs are next re-upholstered. The cotton wadding that sits over the springs (foam-cushioning hadn’t been invented yet!) has moved with use and fallen under some springs. It would be very easy to get some high-density foam to rectify this. The chairs can certainly be enjoyed as they are though. I grilled the previous owner about them prior to buying as I had to buy them from photos. He didn’t mention this- it’s not pronounced (and not noticed in some of the chairs at all). There is certainly a big advantage to having the sprung seats though- this is the most durable and costly seat option. Webbing sags and needs to be replaced regularly- once a thin layer of high-density, high-quality foam is put over the springs these chairs will be right for another 60 years of use (but most likely more).
To top it off these chairs have great investment appeal. Fifties designs have fetched strong returns since the mid-1990’s. I believe they will continue to increase in value in line with inflation (at least). They’re much harder to find compared to Danish modern designs. Furniture in this style only had a production run of about 7 years whereas Danish Modern furniture started in the late-1950’s and continued well into the 1970’s … and is still being made all over the world even today.
The captivating design and construction quality on offer here takes you back to a by-gone era- plus these AUSTRALIAN-MADE chairs are also a pleasure to use. Over 200,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in Australia since 2010- virtually no furniture is made in this country anymore making this set of chairs a real novelty. After modern dining chairs have ended up as landfill, these 60-year-old chairs will be passed onto yet another generation to enjoy. There are very few better ways to invest in your home and the future of our environment.
1808 , 1803 and 2009