This chair sold through iNVISeDGE for $1295 back in 2008. Incredibly it took about 4 months to sell! Back then I couldn’t find who designed it- today I’ve ascertained that it’s the H-269 Fauteuil chair designed by Jindřich Halabala in the Czech Republic in the 1930’s. With no designer behind an item not many people are prepared to back their own taste. This iNVISeDGE buyer got an incredible investment. Today in 2019 I’d price this exact same chair in iNVISeDGE at around $3000-$4000. There’s a screenshot shown below of one of these chairs for sale in America (2019) for AU $10,859. Yes I think almost $11 000 for one chair in this design is outrageous too. Most in America are around AU $6000. This design is a very strong investment and much-loved the world over.
Background Info and Provenance
(Written in 2019)
A vintage Jindřich Halabala H-269 Fauteuil chair designed in 1933. The main feature of this design is the voluptuous curved armrest which gives the design a dynamic presence. It’s flowing, sculptural and downright stunning! I think it’s one of the best items I’ve had. This was one of the only pieces of furniture I held onto hoping to find a designer for- I held onto it for 2 years but back in 2006-2008 there was a lot less design information on the internet and I was less savvy in finding designers and background information online. Because I held onto it I knew I had something special (I tried at least!). I probably should have backed my own taste by putting on the price I thought it was worth but there would have been no point. Even at $1295 no-one bought it for months. Just goes to show that if you have anything of value ebay is not the place to sell it! The re-upholstery and sanding back of the frame alone would have meant I’d worked for peanuts- but it was nice to work with such an iconic piece of design anyway (even if I didn’t know the extent of it at the time). I’m so glad I finally found these photos- I thought I’d lost them. I specifically tried to find them before I listed my most recent vintage bentwood lounge design and gave up after several hours. One day I’ll learn that things come to you when you’re not looking for them!
I finally found the description I wrote for this chair back in 2008. It’s not as bad as most of the descriptions I wrote back then.
Provenance and Background Information (written in 2008)
One of the most stunning chairs I’ve seen in a long time. I’d say this one would be at least 60 years old and has design features that are unmistakably from the art deco era. We’ve just had this re-upholstered so the fabric is new. When we got it, the upholstery was dated, showed a lot of use and was a colour that didn’t suit the chair. The timber frame was also stained a Walnut colour which was done a lot in the deco period. We stripped the frame back (you can see some evidence of the old stain if you really look). I am yet to find a definite designer for the piece even though I’ve hung onto this chair for about 2 years now. I strongly feel it’s not Australian for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the timber is not any timber used in Australia back in the 1940’s. I’m not sure what the timber is (it looks like it could be Beech)- it’s certainly not Coachwood or any of the other obvious options for timbers used in Australia. Also, with a design this striking I would have certainly noticed others around by now. After 6 years of researching and working in this field I am yet to see another chair like this ever (not even in photos). If it is an Australian design it would be highly esteemed- I put this design up there in esteem with Grant Featherston chairs.
This is an obvious investment choice (I’ve given up trying to find its real value)- it’s obvious it’s vintage and rare. Featherston chairs are fetching around $6000 at the moment (some are worth even more)- this one is probably worth about the same. Why spend similar money on something that has been mass-produced, with no investment appeal and questionable construction qualities? If this chair suits your interior you’d be silly to let it pass- it’s a shame I can’t afford to hang onto it any longer!