Vintage Fibreglass Chairs
Vintage Fibreglass chairs are a type of furniture constructed from fibreglass.
History & Description
Fibreglass was invented in 1938 and was first used as a furniture material in the late 1940s. From the 1950s until the early 1970s, fibreglass was considered as a classic material for modernist design.
Furniture and interior designers took advantage of fibreglass’s robust build quality and smooth, sleek lines to create innovative and refreshingly original chair designs, such as the Tulip Chair by Eero Saarinen and Eero Aarnio’s Bubble Chair.
Because of its futuristic forms, fibreglass chairs were an important aspect of popular culture in the 1960s and were often used as parts of sets in science-fiction films and television programs. For example, Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair was in the Star Trek television series in the late 1960s.
Guide for collectors
Vintage fibreglass chairs are extremely sought after by collectors, who are drawn to their modernist and inventive designs. The most desirable and valuable examples of vintage fibreglass chairs were designed by the leading furniture designers of the 1950s and 1960s.
Fibreglass chairs by Herman Miller, Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen and Arne Jacobsen typically sell for thousands of dollars at auction.
Instances of vintage fibreglass chairs are quite common at both international and national auction houses. Moreover, vintage fibreglass chairs are also frequently advertised on eBay, including examples from leading American designers like Herman Miller. For example, on March 2nd 2012 a Herman Miller “Arm Shell” chair sold on eBay for $305.
Notable auction sales
On May 24th 2006 at Sotheby’s in Amsterdam, an “Egg” easy chair, designed by Arne Jacobsen, realised a price of €7,200.
On May 6th 2005, a “Ball” chair, designed by Eero Aarnio in 1962 for Asko International, realised a price of £9,840 through Sotheby’s in London.
On April 28th 2010 at Phillips de Pury & Company in New York, a pair of rare and early “Karese Sheep” chairs, designed by Hella Jongerius, realised a price of $10,000.
On April 26th 2006 at Bonhams in Knightsbridge, an Arne Jacobsen “Egg” chair, made in 1959, realised a price of £1,350.
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