Vintage Bamboo Furniture
Vintage Bamboo Furniture is original 20th century furniture made using the natural material Bamboo.
Brief history and description
Bamboo is a type of grass with a hardened stems largely reminiscent of wood. It is the fastest-growing plant on the planet, and has a long history of being used in furniture production.
Whilst wood may be the first choice for many furniture makers, it can also prove expensive, both to produce items made from this material, and to purchase as a finished product. Neither is the case with bamboo, which offers a wood-like aesthetic whilst offering its own unique charm.
These factors have led to a long history of bamboo furniture production, and a roaring trade in the attainment of vintage pieces. The earliest bamboo products generally originate from China, where bamboo has been in use for some 7,000-8,000 years.
An additional draw of bamboo is its sustainability versus wood, due to its fast regrowth.
Guide for collectors
Collectors must be aware that many items are in fact in faux bamboo rather than the real thing; if in doubt as to the authenticity of a piece they are advised to seek specialist assistance.
Vintage bamboo furniture has auctioned from both major and lesser-known auction houses, as well as online auctioneers such as eBay. Further information on the history and production of bamboo furniture can be found at sources such as the Decorating Den website.
Amongst the highest prices fetched for vintage bamboo furniture is $45,000, which was attained for the sale of President John F Kennedy’s bamboo-accented rocking chair, which auctioned from Guernsey’s on 16th March 2008.
Elsewhere, a mid-20th century furniture suite comprised of bamboo and rattan sold for $2,500 from Milea Bros Ltd on 3rd May 2009.
Vintage bamboo furniture is a popular collectable offering an earthy aesthetic, though it sells for widely varying prices.
In addition to selling for thousands of dollars, such pieces have also sold for far less, such as the Victorian cane butlers tray stand (with bamboo legs) which auctioned for just $10 from Jim Raiton auctioneers on 19th May 2006.
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