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Chairs - General

The chairs of today developed from primitive benches and stools. Very popular at auction, they range from antique chair styles to modern chairs that wrap the sitter in an organic embrace.

Antique chairs that remain sought- after by collectors and interior designers are the Queen Anne, Georgian, and American Regency styles. One of the earliest chair designs was the Savonarola, or “scissors” chair, which became important to collectors from the 18th century onward. An Italian walnut Savonarola chair dating from the 15th or 16th century in the Cloisters Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a simple yet lavish example. Another collector’s item is the prie dieu, or “prayer chair,” which has been used for centuries in churches and for personal devotion. The prayer chair features a seat for kneeling and a shelf for devotional texts and items. Catalan architect and sculptor Antoni Gaudi created an extreme decorative example of the chair. Carved from thuya wood, the chair stands at 9 feet and is crowned by a stained glass light fixture.

Antique dining chairs may be simple American vernacular pieces or influenced by the excesses of French Rococo and Baroque design. A modern dining room chair may be a replica of more traditional styles or as sleek and unorthodox as the valuable George Nakashima Conoid chairs. Antique barrel chairs can be used either as side chairs or dining chairs. The history of this shape is uncertain, but the barrel chairs designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright for the Darwin Martin and Herbert Johnson residences are the most famous. The George Nelson Pretzel Chair made of curved laminated wood became a rare collector’s piece when it was removed from the market for insufficient manufacturing techniques. The Pretzel Chair is a fine example of mid-century modern design.


Quick Facts

  • A late 17th century Italian Baroque carved walnut prayer chair sold for $875 in a 2014 Bonham’s auction
  • A set of six George Nelson Pretzel Chairs by Herman Miller brought $8,125 at a Wright auction in 2013
  • A set of six Conoid dining chairs designed by George Nakashima sold for $27,500 at an auction by Phillips in 2014

Recommended Items at Auction

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Two Folding Boat Chairs marked Seamanship
Feb 27, 6:00 PM AEDT
Two Folding Boat Chairs marked Seamanship
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD605 Bids
A chrome shaped modern design chair. H 46cm, W 46cm
Feb 23, 3:00 PM AEDT
A chrome shaped modern design chair. H 46cm, W 46cm
by Lawsons
Est: AUD200- AUD400
AUD355 Bids
3 Early Chairs
Feb 23, 9:00 AM EST
3 Early Chairs
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$154 Bids
2 Bent Wood Child’s High Chairs One is 37” H and the other is 31” H
Feb 23, 9:00 AM EST
2 Bent Wood Child’s High Chairs One is 37” H and the other is 31” H
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$304 Bids
(3pc) Renetto Folding Canopy Camp Chairs
Feb 24, 10:00 AM MST
(3pc) Renetto Folding Canopy Camp Chairs
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
Ritter Motor Custom Barber Chair
Feb 29, 10:00 AM PST
Ritter Motor Custom Barber Chair
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $100,000
$1252 Bids
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Vintage Carved Chair with Rose Fabric
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Vintage Carved Chair with Rose Fabric
by Heritage Antiques & Auction
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
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Round Back Vintage Slipper Chair
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Round Back Vintage Slipper Chair
by Heritage Antiques & Auction
Est: $50- $100
$251 Bid
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Black Oriental Chair with White eyes
Mar 02, 2:00 PM EST
Black Oriental Chair with White eyes
by Heritage Antiques & Auction
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Eight Restoration Hardware Chrome & Leather Chairs
Mar 02, 10:00 AM EST
Eight Restoration Hardware Chrome & Leather Chairs
by Alex Cooper
Est: $700- $1,000
$3501 Bid
2 Dark Brown Wicker Chairs and Couch
Feb 23, 9:00 AM EST
2 Dark Brown Wicker Chairs and Couch
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Oak Cane Back Chair with Vinyl Seat 31 1/2” H in the back
Feb 23, 9:00 AM EST
Oak Cane Back Chair with Vinyl Seat 31 1/2” H in the back
by Apple Tree Auction Center
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
ATLANTA STOVE WORKS CAST IRON CHAIRS
Feb 23, 11:00 AM EST
ATLANTA STOVE WORKS CAST IRON CHAIRS
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $500- $700
$2501 Bid
Six Plank Seat Chairs
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Six Plank Seat Chairs
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$51 Bid
Pair of Carved Wood Hand Shaped Chairs
Mar 02, 12:00 PM EST
Pair of Carved Wood Hand Shaped Chairs
by Public Sale Auction House
Est: $300- $600
$1001 Bid
White-Painted Children's Chairs, Pair
Mar 12, 11:00 AM EDT
White-Painted Children's Chairs, Pair
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $100- $200
$500 Bids
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Sergio RODRIGUES 1927-2014 Suite de douze chaises - circa 1968
Feb 27, 6:00 PM CET
Sergio RODRIGUES 1927-2014 Suite de douze chaises - circa 1968
by Artcurial
Est: €20,000- €30,000
€20,0000 Bids
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Jorge Zalszupin 1922-2020 Suite de douze chaises dites « Senior » – circa 1960
Feb 27, 6:00 PM CET
Jorge Zalszupin 1922-2020 Suite de douze chaises dites « Senior » – circa 1960
by Artcurial
Est: €15,000- €20,000
€15,0000 Bids
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Joaquim TENREIRO 1906-1992 Suite de huit chaises - circa 1950
Feb 27, 6:00 PM CET
Joaquim TENREIRO 1906-1992 Suite de huit chaises - circa 1950
by Artcurial
Est: €20,000- €30,000
€20,0000 Bids
Aesthetic Style Bamboo Folding Chairs, 4
Mar 12, 11:00 AM EDT
Aesthetic Style Bamboo Folding Chairs, 4
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $300- $500
$1000 Bids
A 19TH CENTURY MAHOGANY HALL CHAIR
Feb 28, 9:30 AM GMT
A 19TH CENTURY MAHOGANY HALL CHAIR
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £100- £200
£500 Bids
TWO 19TH CENTURY CARVED WALNUT MATCHED DRAWING ROOM CHAIRS
Feb 28, 9:30 AM GMT
TWO 19TH CENTURY CARVED WALNUT MATCHED DRAWING ROOM CHAIRS
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £180- £270
£900 Bids
A 19TH CENTURY ROSEWOOD DRAWING ROOM CHAIR
Feb 28, 9:30 AM GMT
A 19TH CENTURY ROSEWOOD DRAWING ROOM CHAIR
by Hutchinson Scott Limited
Est: £180- £270
£900 Bids
Shaker Style Woven Ladder Back Cafe Chairs
Mar 03, 10:00 AM CST
Shaker Style Woven Ladder Back Cafe Chairs
by Rivich Auction
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Chairs - General


Artcurial

Artcurial

Public Sale Auction House

Public Sale Auction House

Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

Hannam's Auctioneers

Hannam's Auctioneers