SOLD in the 1st 3 weeks this suite was listed for more than the OFFERS OVER price!

The $1650 is an OFFERS OVER price for ONE CHAIR. FOR SALE under consignment from a private seller in ADELAIDE. This listing has also been uploaded for people to express interest in buying or selling a similar suite- use the links below.


Out of stock


SOLD in the 1st 3 weeks this suite was listed for more than the OFFERS OVER price! If you need to know the price this suite sold for, call me.

We have an offer of $800 for ONE of these footstools. We’re considering breaking this suite up. Come forward now if you want the swivel chairs WITH matching footstools! (These footstools are HARD TO GET!)

March 2021. We have lists of people wanting Tessa T21 / Tessa Executive furniture. Therefore, the ONLY fair way to give everyone a chance to see the listing is to put T21 listings in an OFFERS OVER situation. 

Delivery Australia-wide is possible. Approximately $250 to get this full suite to Melbourne.   

Our listing price is OFFERS OVER $1650 for ONE CHAIR ONLY. Offers over $2450 will be considered for ONE CHAIR and ONE MATCHING footstool. Offers over $4000 for BOTH CHAIRS and ONE FOOTSTOOL will be considered more favourably than other offers. We understand there are a LOT of people wanting just ONE FOOTSTOOL. Offers over $800 for ONE FOOTSTOOL will also be considered ONLY in the event that the eventual buyer nominates to buy only one footstool … and not BOTH. (I’d be surprised if this happens- the right buyer will understand the rarity of the matching footstools and the solid investment appeal opportunity they have by getting TWO. THE FOOTSTOOLS ARE VERY RARE AND VERY SOUGHT-AFTER (ever since Tessa went out of business in 2019). Offers under our reserve will be noted but I can’t imagine they will be entertained at all. If you submit an offer under our reserve price and don’t hear back from us it is because you have already been outbid. We are not being rude by ignoring you, just prudent with our time. If you bid above our reserve price/s and don’t receive a courtesy email stating your offer has been received, it’s best to call me. Some of our emails are BLOCKED– our email account receives THOUSANDS of emails EVERY day so has a very high level of security. Some emails for some reason are blocked- we don’t know why a few are when about 99.9% of what is sent is received by us.

You snooze … you lose. Express your interest EARLY! Our seller would like a result before August 2021 preferably (but could hold out until Christmas if needed).

This Tessa Executive / Tessa T21 suite is being sold UNDER CONSIGNMENT out of ADELAIDE by a private seller. iNVISeDGE has been employed by our vendor to handle all aspects of the sale on her behalf. I travelled to Adelaide to take these photos. I also helped clean the leather so have got close and personal with this suite in person.

This is FULL-GRAIN vintage leather- the real deal. Tessa often used the shitty TOP-GRAIN leather after the mid-1990’s until 2019 (when they closed- they closed because they couldn’t compete with China anymore unfortunately). Top-Grain leather is NOT TOP-GRADE leather- it’s the inferior THIN modern-day leather that usually deteriorates within 10-20 years- don’t be deceived. FULL-GRAIN leather is the best leather you can get (and the only leather you want). Use the iNVISeDGE SEARCH BOX (on the Home Page) and type in “Howe Leather Brochure” for heaps of information about leather and how to get the most out of vintage leather for 70 years and more.

The investment appeal of this suite is a NO-BRAINER. This FULL suite (PAIR of CHAIRS and BOTH FOOTSTOOLS) retailed new for about $13,000 in 2019 just before Tessa went out of business. iNVISeDGE price- OFFERS over $4,800 for the FULL 4-piece suite. This suite was purchased new by our vendor in 1983. Our vendor still has the original receipt from DJ’s (David Jones- Adelaide). So exciting! This receipt verifies without a shadow of a doubt the investment appeal on offer here. The receipt (along with the Tessa tags on the furniture- these are 1983 tags) PLAINLY show us that the chairs were purchased for $895 EACH back in 1983 and the footstools were $260 EACH. That was a small fortune back in 1983! TOTAL- $2310.  (You could buy a a house and land package for $60,000 back then.) With inflation, value from 1983 in today’s prices (2021). CHAIRS= $3,123 EACH. FOOTSTOOLS= $908 EACH. This shows you plainly that these chairs HAVE ALWAYS HELD SIGNIFICANT VALUE because they’re bloody-good chairs. Tessa didn’t suddenly put $4,400 on these chairs overnight!

The thing that fascinates and excites me so much here is that my vendor (who paid for a small fortune for this) has got virtually 40 years of use out of their AUSTRALIAN-MADE furniture but now it’s ready to passed on to another loving home with no need for restoration! (That to me is close to a miracle in today’s world.) There’s not much to show for about 40 YEARS OF FAMILY USE! THIS LOUNGE SUITE IS IN FULL ”AS FOUND”” condition. I didn’t have time to tidy up the leather AT ALL (I just cleaned it QUICKLY before doing the photos). This makes it even easier for buyers to invest in this suite. Look at it after about 40 years of constant use with absolutely NO RESTORATION! (The very small imperfections in the leather (from minor mishaps) could be tidied up by a leather technician for about $180- this would get the leather virtually new again.) This leather is the REAL DEAL. And the frame … look at the steel sub-structure underneath! These chairs and footstools were built to last GENERATIONS (… forever???) and proof in that comment is in the condition of this suite after 40 years of family use. Marvel at the craftsmanship here. It’s no wonder Tessa T21’s have lasted the way they have- quite simply these pieces were built to last for generations!

The other thing that excited me about working with this particular consignment was seeing the original store tags still on the chairs. These vendors knew exactly what they had and thankfully they preserved the history of these special pieces for future generations. I can’t believe they also still had the original DJ’s receipt too- so cool!

I was also excited after I took a sneak peak under the dust-covers (under the chairs). Contrary to what I previously thought, it was Tessa THEMSELVES who wedged a THICK, BIG quality piece of cushioning between the steel substructure of the chair and the webbing! This effectively means the webbing is supported so the webbing can’t sag and will never need to be replaced. (I’m pretty sure over time Tessa stopped doing this though- to compete with China as there was more cost to do it.) The VINTAGE Tessa Delmonts I recently sold had the dustcovers removed. I stated in that listing that the thick piece of cushioning must have been added by the owner at some stage. Tessa did it themselves when the chairs were first made so their buyers never had to worry about re-webbing Tessa T21 chairs. That is forward-thinking and THAT, my friends, is what it used to be all about! Look after your customers and they will talk favourably about your business … that’s how it USED TO BE. It used to be all about word-of-mouth. Somewhere along the way, this sentiment has pretty-much been lost. In our “modern world” we don’t know WHO made virtually anything anymore! These days virtually NO-ONE talks about the businesses they like to support. Virtually none of my customers have talked about iNVISeDGE over the past 20 years (admittedly that’s also partly because I sold my items through ebay for the first 16 – 17 years so I was helping to build ebay’s “brand”- not my own). In 2021, it’s simply about who posts the prettiest pictures on Instagram! And if you’re posting photos of yourself half-naked, all the more likes you will get! Crazy times it is. That is all I will say here- there’s already enough negativity in this world- I won’t add to it.

You can skip this paragraph and go straight below if you don’t care about whether these chairs are technically Tessa T21 / Tessa Executive furniture. To my knowledge, the chairs are technically TESSA EXECUTIVE CHAIRS with TESSA T21 FOOTSTOOLS. This is a result of someone pulling me up saying that my last description was inaccurate. LOOK AT THE RECEIPT HERE. Tessa themselves put Tessa T21 on the receipt (well David Jones did to be completely accurate but Tessa filled the order with these EXECUTIVE chairs). There is ALSO a type-written T21 tag (attached with masking tape- it’s getting very feint but still legible). The cushioning is slightly different for the T21 and the Executive chair. I personally prefer the Executive cushioning and so do most of the people who restore Tessa Furniture these days for a living. At the time I believe people were saying they preferred the Executive cushions which is why Tessa filled a T21 order with Executive chairs instead. The frames are exactly the same, the cushioning on the Tessa Executive is more streamlined which works better with these beautiful simple lines. It is splitting hairs really, isn’t it? I’d rather spend my time (and internet space) talking about WHY these chairs are such an intelligent INVESTMENT. (This is not a furniture purchase in any way … this is an INVESTMENT for your home.)

Background Info and Provenance

(This section about Tessa T21 was written in 2020 with some adaptions made for these pieces on offer. The desirability of Tessa T21’s in 2021 is only MORE than what’s stated below).

This is arguably the most sought-after chair design to ever come out of Australia. The Contour range by Grant Featherston is probably the most collectable in terms of dollar-value; this one, the T21 swivel chair, released by Tessa in the early 1970’s, is easily the most asked-for vintage chair through our website. When I experienced sitting in a Tessa T21 swivel for the first time, I instantly knew why so many people ask me to buy them. The quality just jumps out at you but it’s the comfort that everyone is after! … OMG … after sitting in a Tessa T21 for the first time I didn’t want to ever get up! During lock-down (March 2020 to 2021) I had phone calls from people almost on a daily basis asking for T21 swivel chairs or suites. I sold my last Tessa T21 chairs a couple of months back now- that listing got record interest and various offers well above our reserve price.

I think the cognac leather here looks amazing on this design. This is a bold design- this lighter / vibrant coloured leather pares it back a bit. This suite is nowhere near as imposing as black or dark-brown T21’s. I can even picture this suite in a small nook (or even in front of a small fireplace). The footprint of these chairs is not big but visually these chairs can normally be quite imposing. This lighter-coloured suite has a more “homely” feel and is not so bold. This suite is upholstered in 100% FULL-GRAIN BOVINE LEATHER- the real deal. I will write a blog describing the differences between Top-Grain and Full-Grain leather in 2021- for now be aware that Top-Grain leather is NOT TOP-GRADE leather- it’s the inferior modern-day leather that usually disintegrates within 10 – 20 years of use.

You’ll sometimes see second-hand Tessa suites where the leather has completely ripped at the seams or cracked all the way through within 10 years of use- this is always MODERN Top-Grain Leather. This leather is VINTAGE (from 1983)- it’s NOT the cheaper leather we see around today. The suite has various labels on the underside of the cushions to substantiate this.

After a 50-year stint in the Australian Marketplace, making virtually ALL their furniture in AUSTRALIA, Tessa Furniture died in 2019. It’s a sad state of affairs when an Australian business can no longer do what they do so well because of cheap imports destined to end up as landfill. And this is the very reason why Tessa eventually died. Their designs are so well-made that vintage second-hand Tessa pieces ended up becoming more sought-after than new Tessa Furniture. And who can blame people going straight to the second-hand market for designs such as this? The QUALITY of this design is so exceptional that second-hand pieces (in quality upholstery / leather) often still look basically new after 10, 20, 30, 40 … and even 50 years of use. In this listing you’re getting chairs that present extremely well but there’s REAL investment appeal on offer here because these are VINTAGE with irrefutable proof of the age!

Today in 2020, I believe this design- the T21 swivel chair by Tessa- is THE best investment in the furniture marketplace. Everyone seems to want them, they are NO LONGER in production so more people will hang onto theirs for a lifetime of enjoyment. Therefore, less and less will be coming onto the secondary market. T21 chairs retailed NEW for about $4400 EACH (in FULL-GRAIN leather) just before Tessa went under- at this RESERVE price (not much more than ONE THIRD retail) it should be obvious to anybody that the only way the value of these chairs can go … is way up.

This pair of chairs IN UNRESTORED CONDITION is about 40 years old and look at them! Just mind-blowing really! No guessing the quality on offer here (including the leather). After much of the world’s furniture ends up as landfill, these chairs will be passed onto another user and eventually a new generation. Now that Tessa Furniture is not made anymore, I can’t see any reason why this design (made in AUSTRALIA) won’t slowly increase to the value they were selling for new (ie. $4400 EACH). There’s no better way I can think of to invest in your home, the future of our environment and local community.


Both chairs are in excellent original condition for a suite that's about 40 years old! The pieces have some minor signs of use but have been lovingly looked after by this family for about 40 years. There's nothing that's immediately noticed at all. Both chairs are heavy and very solidly built- the T21 design is particularly strong and durable. I've never seen anything structurally wrong with a T21 Tessa chair ever (and this design is now 50 years old)- these chairs are no exception. The swivel mechanism on both chairs works perfectly. These chairs came with armrest protectors in matching cognac-coloured leather. I prefer this design without the armrest protectors so have taken them off. The armrest protectors are still with the chairs (under the cushions) if you want them. There is fading on the timber arms to the section that was exposed to sunlight (completely expected for vintage originals)- the timber that was under the armrests is nearly always darker. This IS the case here- study our photos carefully so you know exactly what you'll be getting. I think the chairs present nicely as they are. You'd find that if you expose the armrests to UV light the differing tones will eventually even out. The leather on the cushions has minor signs of use (but nothing that spoils them). There are scuffs to some of the back corners of the chairs (up at the top- shown clearly in our photos). AGAIN, NORMAL for vintage chairs. This could be very easily and cheaply rectified by a professional leather technician. I'd say a technician would charge about $160 to eliminate any signs of use you don't like (it's minor and not really noticed though). The leather on the seats and the back cushions has NO wear that warrants a mention, NO noticeable marks, NO stains, NO cracks into the leather, NO smells. The leather shows minor sun-fading and minor signs of use only (as is clearly shown in our array of photos). In my opinion the sun discolouration is DESIRABLE. Don't use this as a tool to haggle with the price- I will tell you to go away and buy new Tessa Furniture (excuse the pun!). These are VINTAGE originals and anything that is not unsightly that shows they're vintage IS DESIRABLE. If you can't get your head around that, you're not the right buyer for this suite. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The cushioning is all in excellent condition- Tessa use top-quality cushioning that lasts several generations. I think we need to ponder that comment for a little while here ... Modern cushioning-foams can break down and disintegrate in 10 years. THIS AUSTRALIAN-MADE CUSHIONING IS 40 YEARS OLD AND STILL AMAZING! Furniture manufacturers CAN make quality cushioning- most of them just choose NOT to! The cushioning is all plush and comfortable AND these cushions / chairs are very supportive as well. The angles of these chairs are obviously also SPOT-ON for comfort! _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Overall, the chairs both present very well and will last the long-haul. The colour is depicted accurately via our array of photos. The photos were taken in good filtered light. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Tessa T21 swivels. Measurements. Width- cm. Depth- cm. Height- cm. Read my 1200+ ebay feedback comments (ALL for furniture and decorative arts SALES) to be assured that the lounges are described as accurately as possible and that I will not purchase items of inferior quality or with significant cosmetic flaws.
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