Sunday, July 12, 2009

Set of 4 Rosewood Safari Chairs

Sometimes I buy pieces and immediately know that I've knocked it out of the park. Other times I buy pieces and 10 minutes later I'm slapping my forehead saying "WHY did I BUY that??" Still other times, and this is probably my favorite, I buy something feeling a bit lukewarm towards it, and it slowly grows on me the longer I have it, until I am totally enamored of the piece. That's what happened with these rosewood safari chairs.

Despite the fact that they are obviously good looking chairs (and surprisingly comfortable), I was not sold immediately. The Safari chair is a fairly common form, and even at its best, has sort of a limited value and saleability. It's sort of an in-between chair - not quite substantial enough to be a lounge chair, but certainly too wide and low to be a dining chair. Also, these chairs were, strangely enough, made in Pakistan, which is not usually known as a destination for fine furniture.

However, the price was right, and I was talked into them. I'm sure glad that the guy I bought them from persevered, because they are now some of my favorite pieces that I've bought in a long time! Once I got them into the store, I started to notice the extremely high quality craftsmanship that went into the creation of these chairs. First off, each chair is comprised of solid rosewood, with nice thick black leather seats and finely made brass fittings. Then I looked closer at the brass fittings and realized...these are hand-hammered, not machine made!

Being that they are safari chairs, they of course break down into 10 sticks and 2 slings each. These chairs take it one step further, however. When I was buying them, the guy who had brought them to me said "you don't want these bags, do you"? "Which bags?", I asked. "These carrying bags. Each chair has it's own little carrying bag". "Are you kidding me??" I stammered. Of course I want them! That's maybe the coolest thing about the chairs!"

So here I am, ready for a day at the beach with my portable rosewood & leather safari chair, complete with carrying bag!

The maker's mark.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Oh boy, more great stuff!

Some great new pieces that have hit the shop in the last few days!

A very cool studio pottery vase, c. 1970s.

A pair of down-filled cube club chairs by Charles Pfister for Knoll.

A mystery desk lamp that is giving me hives with the effort of trying to identify it. I KNOW I've seen this thing somewhere before!

A beautiful walnut coffee table by T.H. Robsjohn Gibbings for Widdicomb. Currently in the process of refinishing it.

A really gorgeous fused glass vase. This one might be coming home with me!

A California modern split-reed cane and iron table/bench.

AND...last, but not least, a lovely little teak & oak desk chair with rush seat by Aksel Bender Madsen & Eijnar Larsen.

A Chair or a Sculpture? Leather Hoop Chair by Borge Mogensen

This week I was fortunate enough to acquire the above piece of art, a bent beech and leather lounge chair by Borge Mogensen. This chair has incredible presence, almost like it's a throne for some primitive tribal leader. It demonstrates how the masters of Danish furniture design were able to synthesize different styles with the more traditional "Danish Modern" and create true works of art (see also Hans Wegner's "Chinese Chair" or Finn Juhl's "Chieftan Chair"). Chairs of this quality just exude a certain je ne sais quoi - it's almost as if you can feel the presence of the designer and his intentions for the chair when looking at, and especially sitting in, one of these pieces. Interestingly, while I find this chair to be one of Borge Mogensen's most striking designs, unlike his "Spanish Chair" or "Hunting Chair", it does not seem to have a name. The only instances I've found of the chair refer to it simply as a "lounge chair" or, slightly more helpfully, a "leather and beech hoop chair". There is only one other pair that I can find currently available for sale, priced at a heady $7500 for the pair, which makes this find all the more special.