The listed price ($1295) is for ONE single chair only but we have a second matching chair and 2.5-seater sofa available from the same suite. After a period of time we will consider breaking up this suite so if you have interest in the full suite or even the pair of chairs express your interest early.
This suite is being sold under consignment by a private seller from their home in NORTH ROCKS, Sydney but can be transported Australia-wide for a reasonable additional price- as an example, it would cost about $220 to get BOTH chairs to Melbourne.
There is a guy on Instagram who insists that this is by New Style Upholstery but he’s given no true evidence. The ones he’s shown in New Style Upholstery magazine ads from the 1960’s don’t look like this- they’ve been made differently. At this point with the evidence we have, this suite could have been made by New Style Upholstery, Paul Kafka or any Tom, Dick or Harry. None of these suites have a label. The value is ascertained by a plethora of factors- brand in this case plays little or no part. As a customer of vintage items, it is your responsibility to understand that you are buying a lounge suite- not a brand. For unlabelled items, value is assigned from construction quality, design merit, age and rarity. Do what you can to ascertain the value for yourself- understand that the suite may not be by Paul Kafka. This guy on Instagram has said I’m purposely trying to mislead my customers amongst other accusations. These are his opinions only and his opinions mean nothing to me. Your toxic harassment is unwelcome. It is strange to think all this has been stirred up by a chair listing for $1295. (The description below was written before the information that it could have been done by New Style Upholstery came to light.)
Background Info and Provenance
(Written in 2022. NOTE some information may be time sensitive.)
A stunning lounge armchair that I believe was made by Paul Kafka in Sydney in the early-1950’s. (Our price is for one armchair but we have a matching pair available.) I’m pretty certain this is a Paul Kafka piece. Many experienced furniture dealers over the years have identified this design as being done by Kafka. None in this design have identifying labels and Kafka died in 1972 so I doubt many people would definitively know (he died before I was even born!) These pieces exhibit EXCEPTIONAL craftsmanship, consistent with all Paul Kafka pieces plus the design hallmarks of Kafka pieces. The rounded form coupled with the splayed square legs that taper to point are common in Kafka pieces- also the timber pieces along the top of the armrests are another hallmark of Paul Kafka pieces. The rarity of this design is also consistent with Kafka Furniture- Kafka’s pieces were made predominantly by hand so there’s not much of it out there. I’m confident in identifying this design as being by Kafka but I may be wrong.
The quality of what’s on offer here is EXCEPTIONAL. These pieces are all as solid as rock (over 60 years on). These pieces are at least in line with the quality of Parker lounges. This design is unique and unlike anything else ever made. The design has a “Mad Men” feel to it- it’s an exuberant, 1950’s look- it’s fun but still stylish. The curves were very hard to create in chairs at the time and rarely seen in furniture of this era. Grant Featherston created curves in furniture back in the day but a Featherston chair of this size (and in this condition) would easily fetch DOUBLE OR TRIPLE this! The investment appeal here is a no-brainer. I can only see these pieces continuing to appreciate in value in coming years.
I also love the colour- whilst it has a fun 1950’s vibe, turquoise is constantly in trend. Any colour that’s common in nature is a perennial favourite and not really subject to trends. This suite nestles well in many interiors- views of the sky, bushland or the ocean outside your windows will all work well. This suite belonged to the parents of my vendor. For 25 years it lived in a farmhouse in Bemboka (rural NSW). The pair of chairs nestled in front of the fireplace- the 2-seater sofa went in the formal lounge room where it was rarely used.
The quality of Kafka’s work has long been praised- his early background was in furniture construction. His aptitude for design is also obvious when we see this piece and explore his body of work. Kafka’s work appealed to the discerning clientele of Sydney back in the 1940’s and 50’s- his business grew so quickly that by the late 40’s he needed to move premises from Elizabeth St in the city to Botany Road, Waterloo. In Waterloo Kafka employed about 30 tradesmen to create custom-built furniture principally for high-end clients living in the Eastern suburbs. Kafka’s business thrived into the 1960’s (but later changed focus to hotel fit-outs) and then closed in the late-60’s. Kafka died in the early 1970’s. His work is collectable these days and much sought after by furniture connoisseurs but it was a small operation compared to what we see today- his work is very rare. In recent years, Paul Kafka’s work has been recognised as some of the most creative, forward-thinking and aesthetically beautiful designs of its time, many are featured in the Sydney Power House Museum. Furniture showing expert craftsmanship such as this is a dying artform (although the likes of Jardan, Mark Tuckey and a few others are keeping it alive).
I trawled the internet before the last Paul Kafka listing I wrote (back in 2015) and this listing (2022). In 2015 there were two current Kafka listings I could find- one was for a pair of carver dining chairs ($2950), the other for a small two-seater sofa ($3800). In 2022, I could only find one furniture item for sale at the time- $5600 for six fully-restored Kafka dining chairs.
These lounges are also comfortable- this goes without saying really. You can see the confident support and that the angles are spot-on just from the photos. You certainly don’t keep sinking down in these pieces and pray to God you’ll be able to fight your way out when it’s time to get up. Comfort-wise, you’ll find few better- you are held confidently in perfect seating position.
Investing in vintage furniture is a great way to go- work of this calibre is a solid investment. If lounges look like this after more than 60 years of use you have confidence in both the quality of the construction and design. Kafka’s work was built to stand the test of time- it has not only done this, but has thrived for decades. If you decide to invest in these pieces and need to sell them years later, approach me, I’d be happy to represent them again. There are very few better ways to invest in your home and reduce landfill.
NOTE- This description was written in 2022. Some information and values will be time-sensitive.