Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lounge Chair and Ottoman by Adrian Pearsall for Craft Associates - $395

Mid Century Chair and Footstool by Adrian Pearsall - $395 (Leesburg)

Let me start by saying that it doesn't need to be cheap to be a good deal... this is a great example. Here is a beautiful, all original and in good condition lounge chair and ottoman designed by Adrian Pearsall and produced by his Pennsylvania-based company Craft Associates. The seller states that the "entire chair is intact and original with no damage," and as you can see in the image, the fabric shows little/no wear and all pieces, including the headrest, are intact.

Adrian Pearsall is a lesser-known mid century furniture designer who founded Craft Associates, which produced a range of furniture in the 1950s and 60s before being bought by Lane. He is also, surprisingly (to me) the designer of the beanbag chair. Following is an excerpt from his nomination into the Furniture Hall of Fame (yes, such a thing really exists), "Adrian M. Pearsall (b 1926) founded Craft Associates, which became the second largest employer in Northeastern Pennsylvania. After he and his brother sold Craft to the Lane Company, Mr. Pearsall became a partner at Comfort Designs, from which he retired in 1991. Mr. Pearsall is known for his innovative designs, including the popular beanbag chair."

These Pearsall / Craft Associates chairs are relatively rare and especially in this condition. They are also quite popular. Upholstered pieces from the 50s and 60s are difficult to find without rips/tears or worn areas to the fabric. As for value - there is not a lot out there for comparison, but I think this chair with ottoman could easily sell for $600+ on eBay. The only similar listing I could find right now is on Etsy, in much worse condition, and without the ottoman or headrest, for $388.

The bottom line is that this is a unique and stylish chair in rare condition, with great original fabric, offered at a very fair price. They are only getting rarer, and I am confident that this piece will hold its value. Act fast!! This might not last through the day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Folke Palsson FDB Mobler Chair - $50 (Baltimore County)

1942-1950 Danish Mobler Chair - $50 (Balt. County)

This listing is for a single chair, which appears to be a chair that was designed by Danish designer Folke Palsson for FDB Mobler. The Palsson chair is a classic Danish design, and one that clearly shows how American styles (notably Shaker) influenced some Danish designs at the time (for more info this click here). Between 1942 and 1950, at the time this design was developed, FDB Mobler's design studio was run by Borge Mogensen, one of the most influential Danish designers of the 20th century.

There is little information in this listing about the chair, but it is evident that it has some significant wear to the black lacquer finish.  I'm not very familiar with this chair, but also wonder why some of these chairs seem to have a metal adornment on the back-rail, whereas others don't. I have seen both versions in several places online.

Chairs like this one, in good condition, regularly sell for $75-150. Considering the condition of this chair, I don't think $50 would be a great deal, but it is a reasonable starting place for negotiations if you like this style and are willing to do a little restorative work on the finish. It is also worth asking the seller if the piece has any label still attached. Although to my knowledge this chair was not widely copied, the label will resolve any doubt and help your re-sale value. 

If you just like the chair and would rather pay a little more for one (or four) in better condition, check out this listing for 4 of these for $600.

Friday, May 21, 2010

6 Hans Wegner Wishbone Chairs - $200/each (Alexandria, VA)

Wishbone Chairs; designed by Hans Wegner, made by Carl Hansen & Son - $200 (Alexandria)

This listing is for a set of six Wishbone Chairs designed by highly regarded Danish designer, Hans Wegner. Also known as the CH24 or Y-chair, the Wishbone Chair was first produced by the Danish manufacturer Carl Hansen & Son in 1949.  It is one of the most iconic Danish furniture pieces, and is still highly collectible. 

The chairs in this listing were purchased in the 1960s and still bear their original labels (big plus). It is difficult to assess their condition from the photos and description, but it is critical for any prospective buyer to look for structural faults or major blemishes. Condition is everything with higher end pieces like this and it will make all the difference in their value. If they are in good, solid condition, $200 per chair is a very reasonable price. If they are in excellent condition, $200 is a great price.

If you like these, I suggest you act fast. Listings like this are few and far between - this is the first time I have seen these chairs on Craig's List. If you are willing to buy all 6, I am sure you can negotiate a discount.

To learn more about Hans Wegner - check out his biography on Design Addict.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

PRICE DROP - American / Danish Modern Teak Bed Frame - $45!!

Retro Modern Vintage Scan Type Twin headboard and footboard - $45 (Chantilly)

This listing is for a mid century modern twin-sized headboard and footboard. This is a simple but beautiful design that is unique relative to other modern and mid century beds. The first time I saw this listing I passed it by because the style seemed too "arts and crafts" for my taste. But on second look, the design feels more like a mix of American modern and Danish modern from the 1960s, and I actually think this is a great looking bed frame. The seller states that the piece is made of solid teak, and this appears to be the case based on the photos. It is missing the bed rails, but these are easily and cheaply replaceable. If you are looking for a twin bed frame, this could be a great option at a reasonable price of $85.

Japanese Modern China Cabinet / Tea Cabinet - $250

Vintage Japanese Tea Cabinet - $250 (Alexandria, VA)

This listing is for a unique Japanese modern tea cabinet, which the seller states was brought over from Japan.  This is not your usual mid-century modern piece, and the picture is not fantastic, but this looks like a very interesting, uniquely designed, and generally cool piece of furniture.  The open shelving area (which can have glass doors, according to the seller) appears to have a linen/grasscloth backing, and the wood shelves have an interesting z-shape.

I can't tell what type of wood the cabinet is made out of, or whether it is veneer or solid wood, but everything looks intact and structurally sound at a glance. At $250 (asking price) I think this is a good deal. Offer cash and you can probably take it home for $150 or $200. If you like this piece, don't wait; you are not likely to see another one like it any time soon.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Danish modern (?) bookcase - $50

Giant Book Case - $50 (Columbia Heights)

Worth a look? Clearly, this picture is terrible. Unfortunately, so is the description... i.e. "I have this big book case thing for sell".  However, the style appears to be Danish modern and the design is fairly interesting. Definitely more interesting than your run of the mill bookcase. I'd guess that the compartment on the right center folds down into a secretary desk, and that the bottom has drawers on the left and a cabinet on the right.... but that is just a guess. If this isn't too far out of your way and is something you might be interested in, it is definitely worth a look. I'll bet the seller would take $30-40 for it - he/she seems anxious to get it off his/her hands.