This listing price ($1350) was for the 3-SEATER SOFA / COUCH ONLY. This FULL SUITE sold for $3090 for the FULL 3-PIECE SUITE (sofa AND pair of chairs) in June, 2020. THIS SUITE SOLD IN THE FIRST 2 HOURS IT WAS LISTED in our NEWLY LISTED Category BEFORE it was listed on Instagram!
This suite has already been freighted to our happy customer- SORRY SOLD!
This suite SOLD under consignment from a regular iNVISeDGE seller in GEELONG, near Melbourne.
Background Info and Provenance
(This description was written in 2020)
A vintage LEATHER and teak 3-seater lounge sofa. This is the “FLERLINE” design created by Fred Lowen & Ernest Rodeck for FLER in the early-1960’s. (The listing price is for the 3-seater sofa ONLY.) This is one of the best lounge suites we’ve stocked in recent years- definitely in our Top 5 in the last 5 years. All these FLER suites were originally upholstered in vinyl. This suite was PROFESSIONALLY RE-UPHOLSTERED in FULL-GRAIN LEATHER about 6 years ago. NO EXPENSE was spared in refurbishing this suite. Virtually all professional upholsterers including 99% of mid-century furniture retailers who renovate vintage furniture, cut cushion-foam for new cushioning. This is the norm and virtually no-one deviates from this because the cost of proper cushioning is so high and will remove most buyers from the market. This suite was NOT refurbished by a vintage furniture shop but was personally commissioned by the previous owner a few years back.
I unfortunately didn’t buy it direct from the previous owner so couldn’t ask them all the questions I have. (I’ve never seen anything like this in 19 years of trading- for a start I would have asked them how much they paid for the refurb- my estimate is around $5000 for the full suite). The one question I got answered and very resoundingly so by the person we bought this from, was that no expense was spared. The cushioning was CUSTOM-MADE by the upholsterer- this is proper cushioning- the cushions were not just cut out of foam. The comfort of these custom-made cushions IS EXCEPTIONAL. This is the same cushioning you’ll find in modern Jardan lounges. A LEATHER Jardan lounge suite in this configuration will set you back at least $15,000 new but a Jardan sofa has nothing on this. This suite is ALMOST 60 YEARS old- the design is more interesting than virtually any Jardan sofa I’ve seen and the investment appeal overshadows any Jardan sofa you can buy. This is an authentic VINTAGE suite- the design is highly-celebrated- it’s one of the best Fred Lowen came out with during his illustrious 40-year career. At least one of the pieces in this suite retains a partial FLER label from the 1960’s. If you look after this suite and ever need to sell it in the future (and go about it with some sense), you’ll get the same money back for it but very likely more. (But why would you ever want to sell it though?)
This suite ticks EVERY box. The looks box is an easy tick. It has an elegant look but the bold graphic profile adds wow-factor. It’s refined and stylish but the exposed timber frame and the geometry of the side panel adds just the right amount of interest. This suite has vintage character but is also modernist and TIMELESS. If a manufacturer like Jardan came out with a sofa like this today they’d be asking at least $7500 in full-grain leather (that’s just for the sofa!).
This leads to the most obvious advantage of this suite- INVESTMENT appeal. Fred Lowen’s vintage designs are some of the most collectable and enduring in Australia. I remember selling FLER Narvik day-beds through iNVISeDGE for $995 back in 2005. In 2015 I sold a Narvik for $1940- most vintage furniture shops sell Narvik sofas reupholstered in fabric for around $2300. FULL-GRAIN leather is more expensive than any of the fabric I’ve ever seen on a FLER Narvik so this sofa can only be worth a LOT than $2300. I’ve also never seen a FLER Narvik sold with CUSTOM-MADE cushions either. The comfort of a FLER Narvik and this suite doesn’t compare because the custom-made cushions makes this sofa is a lot more comfortable.
Also, look at the detailing in this upholstery job! The upholsterer has added specialised air vents to allow just the right amount of air to be released from the back cushions when you sit down. This keeps the right amount of air inside the cushions for a floating comfort you’ll only get from the most expensive modern sofas on the market (never in vintage sofas- unless, in the unlikely case, they’ve been refurbished like this).
There’s also a resounding tick for DURABILITY. This frame is almost 60 years old and is as solid as a rock- no guessing how long this will last for. This piece exceeds the quality of the much-celebrated Parker lounges from the 1960’s. FULL-GRAIN LEATHER is also an intelligent choice for furniture because of its superior durability (it’s rarely used anymore though because it’s so expensive). The leather alone in this full suite would have retailed for about for about $2000- this $2000 estimate does NOT include the upholsterers fee. If you add in the upholsterer’s fee to sew up the cushions in full-grain leather and re-upholster the frame as well you’d be looking at about $4000 all up for the suite but that DOESN’T include the SIGNIFICANT cost of CUSTOM-MAKING the cushions. Replacement cost of this full suite is at least $7000 (and that’s being conservative). Another sign of how much money was spent refurbishing this suite is the fact that EVERY cushion was fully upholstered in FULL-GRAIN leather, front AND back. This is never done- they nearly always put fabric panels on the underside of full-grain leather cushions because it saves money … the fabric panels also allow air to pass out of the cushions when you sit down negating the need to add the air valves you see along each side of every zipper in the cushions.
Trends come and go but when items built in the 1960’s still attract attention 60 years on, they’ve come to supersede trends. The investment appeal of buying vintage furniture is simple. When items look like this after this many years of use, you’re guaranteed of the quality and durability you’ll be getting before you shell out a cent. There are very few better ways to invest in your home and reduce landfill
NOTE- There’s also a matching PAIR of single-seater chairs that are priced SEPARATELY. They won’t be listed for a while. I photographed the full suite while I visited these consignment sellers in Geelong. I didn’t have time to photograph each piece close-up- they’ve got other commitments right now but will get onto doing more photos very soon (if the suite doesn’t sell in the meantime).