Vintage Cantilever Chairs



2015-06-26 10:31:24

Vintage Cantilever Chairs are a style of chair first designed in the 1920s by the Dutch designer Mart Stam.

Brief history and description

A Cantilever chair is a chair which relies solely upon the material of its design for its structural support, as the chairs have no back legs.

Designed in 1926 by Dutch architect and furniture designer Mart Stam, they remain one of the most important and enduring designs of the twentieth century, and the design was later experimented with and expanded upon (often in differing materials) by a variety of other furniture designers, to varied success and saleability.

Guide for collectors

Design blog Design Taxi features extensive information on the form and construction of cantilever chairs, as well as further information about their historical relevance in design terms.

The chairs have featured prominently at many auction houses, most frequently in Europe but also further afield. They have also been sold at online auctioneers such as eBay, and here often for lower prices than prospective buyers may find elsewhere.

However, as with all purchases made online, collectors are advised to ensure the authenticity and adequate external appearance, as well as the correct working order and antique nature of a particular piece before purchasing, and if in doubt, are advised to seek professional opinion.


A vintage Cantilever chair dated from the 1930s sold from Schmidt Kunstauktionen Dresden OHG on 9th June 2007 for just €40, making it amongst the most inexpensive examples of such a piece when sold at auction.

The chairs more generally sell for several hundred dollars or euros, such as:

  • A Harvey Guzzini Cantilever chair dated from 1970 sold for €450 from Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH on 10th December 2007
  • a Marcel Breuer Thonet cantilevered chair dated from the 1920s sold for $500 from Mark Lawson Antiques, Inc. on 21st January 2007
  • a Vladimir Tatlin cantilevered chair, also dated from the 1920s,sold for €550 on 6th February 2006 from Quittenbaum Kunstauktionen GmbH
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