Monday, March 7, 2011

Shopping with GMT

Burt Bacharach wrote: "A chair is still a chair..." and, since picking out a dining table is only half the battle,  now there are chairs to consider! Not an easy task, but through the proliferation of catalogs and online resources, it doesn't have to be a chore. One of my favorite starting points for looking for anything is, the premiere online resource for vintage and not-so-vintage furniture, art, and accessories from dealers around the country and in Europe.  The important thing about a dining chair is the quality of the "sit", but after parking it in too many chairs to count, my eyes can now tell what is comfortable, at least for me. After a quick browse, these sets rose to the surface. Oh, and never worry about "matching" your existing or newly purchased table. If that ever was a trend, it is long gone!

These four elegant French fruitwood chairs from the 1920's have an upholstered cushion in a rich, dark chocolate brown leather and hand-caned backs. According to the dealer, these chairs are extremely comfortable to sit on and even more so to look at with their clean and simple lines. They would also work perfectly at a card or game table. I love the traditional, yet clean, very contemporary style these antique chairs offer. They would mix beautifully with a pair of upholstered arm chairs for a complete set. The price for the four runs $1890.00, but could easily last a lifetime!
This set of four Swedish chairs from the 1940's is another great find. In excellent condition, these chairs are completely restored with golden elm exposed legs, hardwood inner frames, and eight-way hand-tied seat springs. They are newly upholstered in new chocolate brown diamond-quilted velvet and trimmed with hand-placed antique brass finish nail head tacks, which I think is such a great touch. These are in another bracket at $2850.00, but because they are restored, they are ready to go around a well-deserved table!
And now for something completely different! These four very fresh and striking Mies Brno chairs are upholstered in a moss green velvet. The bright shiny one piece cantilevered tubular chrome steel artfully forms the base, legs, arms and back with the upholstered seat and back seemingly afloat. A 1929-30 design by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for the Tugendhat home in Brno, Czechoslovakia, the chair is a modern icon. These four were produced by Thonet in the 1970's, and are just stunning... at $2950.00 for the set, they should be, but again the quality and integrity of the chair is truly timeless. This would definitely be the "10% cool" in your dining room!

In the mood for a little Loius?? I'm a fan of the XVI, myself- straighter lines, yet still very French. These four are not from the Ancien Regime, but are in the "style of" and stamped Jansen, the venerable French furniture house, and are from the 1940's. I love the fine reeded legs which support the leather seat, the solid cane back rest, and the wonderfully worn pickle finish. The price per chair is $800.00. While I'd love to see the Mies chairs, above, around a more traditional table, these would look smashing around a modern or contemporary design. I loves me a mix of styles!

There is nothing better than a good "window shop"!
Till next time,

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