RRP- AUD $18,000 for 8 chairs! The iNVISeDGE price is a mere fraction of this and our 8 chairs are in brilliant condition overall. Our price is OFFERS OVER $6000. This set is irreplaceable- you won’t come across another suite like this ever again.
This suite is being sold from Morayfield, North Brisbane.
More photos to come shortly.
International freight is a possibility- I don’t know the best options at this point but it would be viable to get these chairs overseas. I’d prefer an Australian buyer, but if someone overseas is going to do at least as much work as me to get them overseas I will work with you. I’m not sure of the cost and would ONLY make enquiries on your behalf AFTER you’ve committed to the sale and made a sizeable deposit to secure the chairs.
Freight Australia-wide is easy. I’d say it’d be about $260 to get these 8 chairs to Sydney and about $300 to get them to Melbourne.
Provenance and Background Info
(This description was written in 2021.)
A set of 8 vintage saddle-leather dining chairs by much-celebrated designer, Ross Littell. His furniture designs of the late-1950’s are some of the most highly-regarded furniture designs ever- not just of the mid-century era but EVER. This was the era when all those Danish designs were coming to the forefront- most furniture of this era was made from timber. Throughout his illustrious design career Ross Littell always pushed boundaries and usually used saddle-leather, steel and chrome in his furniture designs. The design of these chairs is stand-out but to think they were designed in the 1950’s makes them even more special! You could put these on the floor of SPACE Furniture today and they’d still attract gasps, oh my god’s … and lots of “love these” …
… BUT ! … these chairs over 60 YEARS old!
To say these chairs were ahead of their time is an understatement. No designer had ever done anything like this before and whilst Littel’s designs have been much mimicked, no-one has ever really hit the mark like Littel did … ever again.
I think the reason these are such a hit is because of the fluidity of the design- I love curves in furniture! – plus there’s the minimalist essence he’s captured here too. These chairs are not only stunning but somehow strangely minimalist as well. How is that even possible??? These chairs certainly attract attention, but they would also still settle into the background of your dining space and compliment whatever else is in eyesight … instead of dominating. And yes, that is usually the problem with great dining chair designs. Dining suites are nearly always very “busy”- dining suites often create clutter and “confusion” in your space.
Eero Aarnio (another famous furniture designer from this era who also created furniture sensations) once said, “I want to eliminate the slum of legs that dining chair legs create” or something to that effect (I read it somewhere quite a while back now!). Aarnio wanted to make dining chair designs less imposing and “busy”. Littell has done the same thing here- this is an incredibly sleek and refined piece of design. I think the reason the design succeeds so much, is because he’s put a heavy piece of steel in the cross-piece near the floor. What this does is balance the chair and keep it very stable on the floor- without this heavy piece of metal (excuse the pun!), this chair could topple forward pretty easily when old people are trying to sit down because of these sled legs. The design here is not only incredible from a visual perspective but also from a practical perspective.
Additionally, Littell has also carefully considered the durability in this design. The saddle-leather is wrapped around curves- on each side and the back- what this means is that no folds can occur in the leather so no pressure is put on the leather where cracks in the leather could ever occur. This SET OF 8 chairs are all in incredible structural order for chairs that have been used for over 60 years … and oh they’ve certainly been used, believe me! They may not look it anymore but if you saw these chairs when they came in, you would have known how much they’d been used.
I bought them off ebay, 6 years ago for a LOT of money. When they came in, I wanted to send them straight back (they travelled 2000 kms to get to me). The seller lied in her description. The condition of these chairs was terrible when they came in- the seller under-described and mis-represented how bad they were. I could see how much work was needed to get them back to how they should be and I didn’t want any part of it! It was a big investment of money for me at the time and I could see they would become a “round to it” job and sit in storage in years. And this is exactly what happened! (… for 6 years!!!) It’s not that I was never working on these chairs either- to do properly, the restoration process had to be split up into about 20 smaller tasks and for me to get these eight chairs out 20 times to work on them … well, I’m very busy and to get 20 time-chunks to patiently work with them … it has taken me 6 years to get them done.
I have carefully and fully stripped back ALL of the saddle-leather and then have re-finished the white seats. I have applied an undercoat specifically for leather (2 coats), then about 10 coats of white leather dye (to slowly build up the “white-colour”) and create a flawless finish. Then I applied 3 coats of “fixer” which protects the white finish and makes the overall leather “colour-finish” more resilient. And there were 2 chairs where the leather needed to be re-attached to the frame at one corner. All tedious, time-consuming tasks. (I knew the second these chairs came in that they would sit around for years because this ebay seller lied. Ebay obviously do whatever they want. They know who I am and even though they have a “money-back guarantee”, this is false advertising. The seller cried to ebay that she had described the chairs fairly, ebay saw it was me and all of a sudden there is no money-back guarantee- I was stuck with chairs I knew I’d have to pay to store for many years … thanks ebay … for all you’ve done over the past 20 years!)
In the end I’m happy to have had the opportunity to work with these chairs because they ARE special- they’re RARE and an exceptional piece of design, BUT I didn’t get what I paid for and I paid way more for these chairs than I should have when you consider I had to pay to store them for SIX YEARS. These chairs have been lovingly restored, they are exceptionally durable (the previous-owners had them 20 years as their everyday dining suite and they had kids- this suite has had a LOT of use). Any signs of use were purely cosmetic though. From a durability standpoint, if you look after these chairs- the leather will last you another 60 years or more and the frames will last FOREVER! (Saddle-leather is extremely durable if the design is well-considered … and this design is.)
When I purchased these chairs about 6 years ago, there was an identical set in white in New York (on 1stdibs) for AU $18,500. Those chairs sold pretty quickly. Look at the screenshots included to see the esteem of Ross Littell’s work (he has also done furniture designs for Knoll and Herman Miller). After he passed away in the year 2000, his work has sky-rocketed in value. Not only are you getting a stunning, well-designed dining suite, you’re getting a very solid INVESTMENT. If you invest in these chairs and ever need to sell them down the track, approach me, I’d be more than happy to see them again. After-all, the chances of me getting this design again, is pretty-much zero … zilch … NEVER! (I could only find two chairs in this design whilst researching for this listing- I’ve never seen ANY of Littell’s work before in Australia (over 20 years). The previous owners purchased them off an American couple who bought these chairs with them when they immigrated to Australia in the 1970’s.)
If I had my own home at the moment I doubt these chairs would be offered for sale- they would have ended up in my own dining room! (I travel too much for work right now to even consider establishing a home for myself right now.) I can’t think of any better way of investing in your home. These chairs have already been of service for over 60 years, PLUS good vintage design always increases in value over time (if you invest smartly)… ALWAYS!
There’s absolutely no way this design will lose ANY value as you get to enjoy these chairs in your home. This is a rare investment for the astute investor and also for the future of our world. Reduce landfill by investing in vintage design. (Thank you to anyone who read this far, oh how I love to waffle on! Laugh at me if you will but my “waffling” about exceptional design has kept me in business for 20 years!)