This chair SOLD in 2019 from my client’s home in Thornbury, Melbourne for $1395– I took take care of the whole sales process for him. My commission fee was INCLUDED in this price. (The owner of the chair got around $1260 in the hand when it sold.)
Provenance and Background Info
(Written in 2019)
A famous Falcon chair by Vatne Mobler. These were designed by Sigurd Resell in Norway in the 1970’s. This design was responsible for really igniting my love of good design back in early 2004 (at that stage I’d been in this business for about 3 years). I first came across a pair of Falcon chairs in the “upstairs sale” at Gavan Hardy Auctions in Sydney. The room was packed with stuff and the Falcon chairs were the only thing I really noticed. (Though I had no idea what they were back then.) The design thrilled me- yes, an interesting choice of word I know, but I can’t think of any other way to describe it. They looked like the most comfortable chairs I’d ever seen plus the design was eye-catching, stunning but still elegant and refined. When I sat in one I was sold. Some designs are brash and over-the-top but Sigurd Resell struck the perfect balance with these- they’re refined but still noticed.
Back in 2004, these chairs did not have the following in Australia they have today. (With virtually no money and little experience in the trade) it was just me and a well-known dealer doing the bidding for the last part of the auction. They ticked every box in my eyes. Beautiful comfort (I felt like I was sitting in a hammock), quality leather (that was in incredible condition and beautifully supple after about 30 years of use) and solid frames. In 2004, I didn’t research design, I just went with my gut. After battling it out for these chairs (driving the price up by a substantial amount) I had to pull out of the auction at $800 a chair. I remember another well-known dealer coming up to me after the auction and telling me I was crazy- the chairs were not worth that much. Within 2-3 years, Falcon chairs in mid-century stores doubled in price in Sydney and they have steadily increased in value ever since (and I think they’ll continue to increase- at least along with inflation- forever). They’re the epitome of great design and have ignited many similar designs over the years (those designs have also recently doubled in value since I’ve been selling them and I have lists of people waiting for those as well).
I’ve sold perhaps 10 or 12 Falcon chairs over the years but none for at least 8 years now. They’re very hard to get for a fair price these days. I got this one to sell under consignment. The seller hasn’t been collecting long and part of the reason he came to me was because of the condition of the leather. In all honesty the leather is a big part of the reason I like this one. Yes, it shows minor wear but it depends on the way you look at it. This is a much-loved chair and that’s plainly written all over the leather- it hasn’t sat in corner looking pretty, someone has constantly enjoyed this chair. Despite it being about 40 years old it still looks great in my eyes. You have to be clever in the way a piece like this is used but vintage items with signs of use (character) can look even better than something that’s chic and new. (They offer an interesting contrast in a chic interior.) I’d certainly have this piece exactly as it is in my own home (but I can’t keep everything) and I wouldn’t be changing the leather at all. The current leather has loads of life left in it (if you keep it conditioned) and presents well overall.
High-back Falcons are now getting up to $2950 each in mid-century design shops in Melbourne. The last time I researched them properly before that was 2 years ago and they were nudging $2400 each. I doubt this chair will last long at this price- interior designers are constantly after items like this.
This 40+-year-old piece symbolises that when something has been done well it will live on. Sigurd Resell died in 2010 however his legacy still lives and will most likely continue forever. There’s no better way to invest in your home and reduce landfill.
(This chair has NO label- it has come off over the years. I’m 100% certain this is an authentic Falcon and will stand by this.)
In the same league as Artek, Anibou, Westnofa, B & B Italia and exceeds Tessa, Parker, FLER and Danish Deluxe pieces.