The full 3-piece Bentwood suite SOLD for Layla for in 2018 $2,850.
Background Info and Provenance
This listing price is for the bentwood PAIR of CHAIRS only (sofa is priced SEPARATELY).
Update regarding price is written below. May 2019.
RARE!!! Despite 6 hours research devoted entirely to identify these stunning VINTAGE bentwood chairs I still can’t find any definitive maker. I’ve spent about ten thousand hours researching / trawling online over the past 17 years I’ve been in this business and have never come across this design before. This suite is VINTAGE- I guarantee that in writing right here. As at March 2019 there are no photos of this design I can find online worldwide (and I’ve tried bloody hard!). This is a good thing in my eyes- with a definitive maker I’d say this pair of VINTAGE chairs would easily fetch in the realms of AU $5000 in iNVISeDGE and over AU $10 000 the pair in America on 1stdibs. I’m thinking of applying to sell on 1stdibs in America- if that happens, the price of these chairs will go up. Americans will pay a LOT more for these even with about $1800 in shipping on top to get them there.
I shouldn’t need to tell you about the merit of this design- look at the photos- they’re ON-PAR with the famous armchair 400 by Alvar Aalto for Artek. In fact I like this design more. These are HEAVY and solidly made just like Artek chairs. However, the fully upholstered seat and back in the Aalto models are easier to produce- the exposed bentwood seat and back on this model is MUCH more complex to do (there’s no hiding any of the structure). The exposed timber adds to the sinewy flow of the design. It’s distinctly Scandinavian art deco / nouveau in style. TO TOP IT OFF the construction is a lot more practical. These cushions sit loosely on the frame. It’s cheap and easy to re-upholster this suite or change the comfort to your taste by changing the inner-cushioning at any time. PLUS you can unzip the covers easily for washing (hand-washing is best if it’s just a spot stain but machine-washing is also possible. After machine-washing you must return the covers to the cushions whilst still damp to prevent shrinkage). Similar designs in this style have exposed canvas slings instead that can be marked, stained and are prone to fraying / ripping at the seams. Replacing these canvas sections is expensive and if re-done later they will always look wrong because the rest of chair is vintage and the brand-new canvas just grates.
After the hours I’ve spent online researching vintage furniture if I had to put money on who may have made this suite I’d have to say one of the obscure furniture making firms on the 1950’s- I came across New Age Furniture which was done the late 1940’s in the UK but the quality of these chairs FAR EXCEEDS New-Age and all the other little-known firms I came across with one exception only. That would be the Jindřich Halabala H-269 Fauteuil chair designed in 1933. I sold one of those chairs back in 2008 (for $1295) when I had no idea what it was! That chair took 3 months to sell back then- it would have easily fetched $2500 or more had I known what it was meticulously refurbished. If I sold the exact same Halabala chair again today I’d price it at $2990.
Investing in vintage furniture is a great way to go. Decades of prior use gives everybody irrefutable evidence of the QUALITY of what’s on offer. Additionally I’ve recently gone over the photos of all 1189 pre-loved / vintage furniture items / lots we’ve sold over the past 17 YEARS OF TRADING- I’d sell 1164 of these for a HIGHER PRICE today or at least the same as I first sold them for. There’s no better way I can think of to invest in your home and reduce landfill.
Oh and I almost forgot, these chairs are really comfortable. This is a great sitting-room suite or suite for a reception area. The angles are great for full relaxation of the back and the cushioning is plush but you are still well supported.
(The 2-seater sofa is listed separately. THIS LISTING RESERVE PRICE IS FOR THE PAIR OF CHAIRS ONLY!)
UPDATE- I did some additional research on these chairs this morning. This research just solidifies to me how exceptional these chairs are and that my hunch that they’re special is right. I came across several bentwood designs this morning that I’ve never seen before (and have no maker’s marks) even after all that research a few weeks ago. One that stood out was by Han Pieck in 1947. I have a screenshot of one of his bentwood chairs for sale in Europe for SEK 76 097 which is over AU $11 000 FOR ONE CHAIR ONLY! There was another design by Gerrit Rietveld where construction details are similar to these as well (also very highly esteemed chairs). My research this morning shows just reiterates that these are special chairs. I get the feeling these are highly-esteemed (I know they’re definitely vintage) but I still can’t conclusively identify them- this is good thing for potential buyers.