Vintage Barcelona Chairs



2015-06-26 10:31:08

Vintage Barcelona Chairs are original chairs based on the designs of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and partner Lilly Reich.

Brief history and description

Barcelona chairs became increasingly popular during the 1930s and 1940s, and were initially designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and his partner Lilly Reich, an architect and designer. The name of the chair is derived from an International Exhibition in 1929 which was hosted in Barcelona Spain, for which the chairs were specifically designed by van der Rohe and Reich for the German Pavillion.

The Barcelona chair was later manufactured in both the U.S. and Europe between the 1930s and 1950s, but in 1953 van der Rohe handed over the rights and the name of his design to Knoll Inc., and since then the company has manufactured various different Barcelona chairs in chrome and stainless.


Chromed steel Barcelona chairs

A single chromed steel Barcelona chair is usually worth around $500, while a pair of chromed steel Barcelona chairs that come with matching ottomon frames can be worth as much as $2,100.

Chrome upholstered Barcelona chairs

Pairs of chrome and upholstered Barcelona chairs are worth between $500 and $1,000, but even single chrome chairs that are missing cushions can fetch for as much as $950 at auctions as well.

Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona chairs

Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe's Barcelona chairs that are made out of nickel-plated and hand-forged flat steel, leather and horsehair are worth around $84,000, while his chrome-plated, hand-forged/welded flat steel and leather chairs are worth around $65,000.

Guide for collectors

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona chairs are considered to be the most rare and valuable, and were typically manufactured in the 1930s or 1940s. As a matter of fact, Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe's Barcelona chairs are considered to be such high quality among collectors, Barcelona chairs that have been modelled after his style also fetch for higher prices at auctions as well.

Restoration of a Barcelona chair is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. (However, restoring a Barcelona chair may reduce its value).

For more information regarding vintage Barcelona chairs, visit Knoll's official website.

(All values based on auction results from

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